The Miracle Thanks to Which We Celebrate the Three Hierarchs
On the penultimate day of Gerard, Orthodox and Greek Catholics commemorate three saints, Saints Basil the Great, Saints Gregory the Theologian and Saints John Chrysostom.
The celebration of the three saints, celebrated on January 30, is celebrated separately on different days of the church year. The memory of St. Basil is celebrated on the first day of January, St. Gregory the Theologian on January 25th, and St. John Chrysostom on January 27th and November 13th. Find out why they had to celebrate together!
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Great feast recalls the calls of Orthodoxy
All three saints lived in the fourth century, during the period of heresies that replaced Christian persecution, and defended the Christian faith. They were the greatest shepherds of the Church, and their lives and teachings are considered the model and guide of the faith.
Their memory on the same day was established thanks to the Bishop of Evaite, Saint John Mauropus. During the time of Emperor Alexios I Komnianus, he commanded their celebration to remember the interweaving of the three vocations of Orthodoxy: monastic, theological and practical. The decision to correct this holiday was made after a miracle.
A miracle that united warring Christians
A dispute that arose in the 11th century led to the establishment of a great holiday on January 30th. At that time in Constantinople they were talking about which of Saints Basil the Great, Saint Gregory the Theologian and Saint John Chrysostom was the greatest. After misunderstandings among Christians, the saints began to appear to the Bishop of Ebaitell. First they were shown to him one at a time, then together. According to legend, their words were:
“As you can see, we are one with God and there is no enmity between us. Each one of us in our time, prompted by the Holy Spirit, that's how we learned. There is not one first and another second between us. When you call one, two others come. Therefore, standing up, order those who are at enmity to stop arguing for us. That our need in life and after death was to reconcile people and bring peace and unity to the world. Therefore, make a feast for all three of us on the same day and proclaim to Christians that we are one before God.
After this miracle, the wise bishop chose January 30, fixed in the church calendar, for the common celebration of the Holy Three Hierarchs, thereby stopping disputes on this topic and Christians united for their celebration.
Do you know that…
…in 1936 the Holy Three Hierarchs were appointed spiritual patrons of the Orthodox theological educational institutions of the world?
What you need to know about the Holy Three Hierarchs
Saint Basil the Great was archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia (the center of Asia Minor) when the heretics Arius and Macedon won the emperor Valens over to their side. Saint Basil fought for the true faith in writing and in word. He was the first church father to build hospitals and orphanages near the church.
Saint Gregory of Nazianzus did not consider himself worthy of the sacrament of the priesthood and was ordained against his will. He became Bishop of Nazianzus, then Archbishop of Constantinople, during the period when the city fell under Arius, and one of the most important orators, called the Theologian.
Saint John Chrysostom, born in Antioch (now Antakya, Turkey), retired to a monastery, then to a cave, before being ordained a deacon in Antioch. He is known for his speeches and works "The Interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew", "The Interpretation of the 14 Epistles of the Holy Apostle Paul."