April 29

Basil was born in Popova, a village in Hercegovina, of simple and God-fearing parents. From his youth, he was filled with love for the Church of God, and when he reached maturity, he entered the Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Trebinje and there received the monastic tonsure. As a monk, he quickly became renowned for his assiduous and rare ascetic life. Saint Basil took upon himself ascetic labor upon ascetic labor, each one heavier and more difficult than the last. Later, against his will, he was elected and consecrated Bishop of Zahum and Skenderia. As a hierarch, he first lived in the Tvrdos Monastery and from there, as a good shepherd, strengthened his flock in the Orthodox Faith, protecting them from the cruelty of the Turks and the cunning ways of the Latins. When Basil was exceedingly pressed by his enemies, and when Tvrdos was destroyed by the Turks, he moved to Ostrog, where he lived an austere ascetic life, protecting his flock by ceaseless and fervent prayer.+ He reposed peacefully in the Lord in the sixteenth century, leaving behind his incorrupt and healing relics, incorrupt and miracle-working to the present day. The miracles at the grave of St. Basil are without number. Christians and Moslems alike come before his relics and find healing of their most grace illnesses and afflictions. A great national gathering occurs there annually on the Feast of Pentecost.

+A new church, upon the ruins of the old Tvrdos Monastery, has been built in our day by Nikola Runjevac from the village of Poljica near Trebinje. It is a wonderful, glorious monument in the sight of God and His people.

Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume One.