The ninth day of Christmas commemorates St Basil the Great of Caesarea, and St Gregory the Theologian of Nanzianzen, two of the greatest fathers of fourth century Eastern Orthodox family of churches.
Both men were monks, born in the same year 330, and are acknowleged as great teachers of the spiritual life. Basil created a monastic rule and a version of the Liturgy devised by St John Chrysostom which bears Basil's name and is still used on occasions in the Eastern Churches today. He became Bishop of Caesarea. Gregory became Bishop of Constantinople, but because of the intolerable divisions in his diocese he returned to his birthplace and died there.
Both men gave their lives to explaining through their writings the meaning of Christ's incarnation for human beings in relationship to God, and how divine grace can transform human lives until they partake of the divine life. The key to being total open to this change in character for frail mortal sinful human beings is surrender through inner prayer of quiet contemplation and honest knowledge of self.