St. Basil of Ostrog
Part Six of Seven
RTE: I understand that both of you have a strong tie to St. Basil of Ostrog. He isn’t well- known in the West, so how did that come about?
MICHAEL: A couple of years ago I received a flyer about a book about him called, The Mystery of the Wonder-worker of Ostrog. The picture on the flyer drew me to him, and although we didn’t get the book at the time, the picture kept surfacing, and I found myself saying,
“Holy St. Basil, Wonder-Worker of Ostrog, pray to God for us!”
A year later I saw the book at St. Mary’s, and I thought,
“This is my guy!”
He was looking so holy and kind, blessing us from the picture, that I picked up the book and looked through it. A few weeks later Teresa and I stayed overnight at the church and I brought it to our room to read. Shortly into it, the first story mentioned Bob Marley, and I thought,
“Now this is amazing – all the way in Serbia, Ol’ Bob is moving people!”
I took the book home to read, and came home the next day to find Teresa so into it that she couldn’t put it down. She read it nonstop for a few days, and I tiptoed around to let her be. I felt St. Basil reaching out to her like he’d already reached to me. Not long after we’d read the book, I dreamt that St. Basil was with us. I felt so light and blessed that I woke Teresa up to tell her,
“St. Basil was here!”
In my dream he was in our yard, blessing different parts of the garden. I was so excited and felt so good, and so did Teresa. A few days later, we were amazed to see red tulips growing up in each of the spots that I’d told her he had blessed. There were no other tulips near them, and no red ones anywhere else. To this day, we’ve never had another red tulip.
So, we felt strongly that he was there with us. After our son Nesta moved out we turned his room into a chapel, dedicated to St. Basil. Fr. Paisius and some of our parishioners came over this year on his feast day and served the Divine Liturgy there. The chapel hasn’t been the same since. Since then, I carry St. Basil’s picture with me, and I’ve read everything I can find on him. God willing, next year at this time we will be in Montenegro, climbing his Holy Mountain to venerate his relics.