Saint Basil lived in the time of Julian the Apostate (331-363), and confessed his faith in Christ before the governor Saturninus. He was tortured in Ancyra, then sent to Constantinople, where he was suspended from a tree, stretched on a rack, beaten, then stabbed with red-hot needles. He was also thrown into a fiery furnace, but was not harmed. He was sent to Caesarea and was torn to pieces by lions in the arena.
This saint, a layman, should not be confused with the other St Basil of Ancyra, who was a priest (March 22).