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BASILIANS: Monks or nuns following the rule of St. Basil, who introduced the cenobitic life into Asia Minor, and is said to have founded the first monastery there. The rules which he gave this community connected active industry and devotional exercises in regular succession, day and night,—one meal a day, consisting of bread and water; very little sleep during the hours before midnight; prayers and singing, morning, noon, and evening; work in the fields during forenoon and afternoon; etc. These rules were further developed and completed by Basil’s ascetic writings. After the separation between the Eastern and Western churches, Basil’s rule became almost the exclusive regulation of monastic life in the Eastern Church; so that a “Basilian" simply means a monk of the Greek Church. In the Western Church the rule of Basil was afterward completely superseded by that of Benedict of Nursia. Nevertheless, Basilian monasteries, acknowledging the supremacy of the Pope, are still lingering in Sicily and in the Slavonian countries. See Basil, Saint, the Great; Monasticism.


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