It is oldest of the religious orders, which drew its name from Saint Basile de Césarée, which instituted it about the year 357, by melting a monastery in a loneliness of the Pont, on the edges of the Iris, and which gave him a rule.
The community that holy Basile de Césarée founded, and especially the designs very balanced whom it was made of the monastic life will exert through its famous Règle a great influence on the Monachisme as well Eastern as Western (in particular Saint Benoit).
This order, to which almost all the monasteries of the East belong, is dedicated especially to the prayer and the Contemplation. It passed in Occident only about the year 1057, and had in Italy several important establishments in which the culture of the Greek letters was preserved. Barlaam and Jean Bessarion belonged to this order. The pope Gregoire XIII reformed it in 1579.
The Catholic church counts five orders or congregations which follow the rule of Saint Basile:
- the Italian-Greek congregation of Grottaferrata, founded in 1579;
- the congregation Ruthène of Holy Josaphat, made up in 1617 several monasteries gathered by Saint Josaphat Kuncewicz, métropolite of Kiev;
- the congregation Melkite of the Saint-Saver, or Melkites Salvatoriens, founded with the Lebanon in 1687;
- the congregation Melkite de Saint Jean-Baptiste, or Chouérites, founded with the Lebanon in 1697:
- the Melkite congregation of Alep, separated from the preceding one in 1829.
- Religious orders alphabetically
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