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ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA
To the Count Helladius.
I shrink from troubling your good nature, on account of the greatness of your influence, for fear of seeming to make an unwarrantable use of your friendship; however, the necessity of the case prevents my holding my peace. Our sister, who is a relative of mine, and now in the sorrowful position of a widow, has to look after the affairs of her orphan boy. On seeing her above measure oppressed by intolerable responsibilities, I felt great compassion for her, and, feeling deeply on the subject, I have hastened to invoke your aid, in order that you may, if possible, deign to support the messenger whom she has sent, to the end that when she has paid what she promised in person in my presence, she may be freed from any further pressure. She had agreed that she should be relieved from the interest on payment of the capital. Now, however, those who are looking after the affairs of her heirs are trying to exact the payment of the interest as well as that of the capital. The Lord, you know, makes the care of widows and orphans His own, and so do you strive to use your best endeavours in this matter, in the hope of the recompense which God Himself will give you. I cannot help thinking that, when our admirable and kindly prefect has heard of the discharge of the capital, he will feel for this afflicted and unhappy house now stricken to the knee, and no longer able to cope with the injuries inflicted upon it. Pardon, then, the necessity which compels me to intrude upon you; and give your help in this matter, in proportion to the power which Christ has given you, good and true man as you are, and using your talents for the best.
Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202109.htm>.
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