We wish to thank Linda Biando of St. John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in Philadelphia, and Religious Education Coordinator of the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese [OCA] for the following poem. She used it as part of a Father's Day present along with a basil plant that the students had grown from seed. For our purposes, the basil plants can be purchased at local garden centers and nurtured by Dad and his children during the summer in anticipation of bringing the plant to Church for the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross on September 14/27. St. Helena found the Cross of our Lord buried under a field of sweet-smelling basil. The Orthodox Churches of the world that are in warm climates use sweet basil to decorate the Church and even the tray on which the cross is carried in procession on this Feast Day. In some churches, stocks of dried basil are tied together and used by the priest for the blessing of water at Theophany.
© 1998 by Orthodox Family Life and the original author(s).
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