Feast Day: January 1st
& January 30th, Feast Day of the Three Hierarchs
The Life of Saint Basil the Great: This Saint led Christ’s rational flock to Salvation through every virtue…
Apolytikion: Thy fame has gone forth into all the Earth, which has received thy word. Thereby thou hast taught the Faith; thou hast revealed the nature of created things; thou hast made a Royal Priesthood of the ordered life of men. Venerable Father Basil, intercede with Christ our God that our Souls may be saved.
Kontakion: Thou wast an unshaken foundation of the Church and didst give to all mortals an inviolate lordship which thou didst seal with thy doctrine, O Venerable Basil, revealer of the Mysteries of Heaven.
Saint Basil the Great was born into a family of Saints! His mother Saint Emmelia was the daughter of a Martyr and the daughter-in-law of Saint Macrina the Elder. Saint Basil’s father was Saint Basil the Elder. And his siblings are Saint Macrina the Younger, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Naukratios of Mount Nitria, Saint Peter of Sebaste, Saint Theosevia, and five other sisters who lived a righteous life.
We have many God-inspired sermons and writings from Saint Basil, which are an endless source of Spiritual knowledge. His position as Archbishop provided for him a great opportunity to share his Spiritual thoughts and teach all about God and His Mysteries revealed to us.
Saint Basil wrote The Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great, which the Church celebrates on his Feast Day January 1st, the five Sundays in Holy Lent, Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday. Also on Christmas Eve and the Eve of the Epiphany, unless Christmas or the Epiphany falls on a Sunday or Monday.
“Then I read the Gospel, and I saw there that a great means of reaching perfection was the selling of one’s goods, the sharing them with the poor, the giving up of all care for this life, and the refusal to allow the soul to be turned by any sympathy to things of Earth. And I prayed that I might find some one of the brethren who had chosen this way of life, that with him I might cross life’s short and troubled strait.”
Saint Basil dearly loved and cared for every single person, and he established the first hospital to enable the continued care of sick people.
Today we also keep the New Year Holy Tradition of Saint Basil Bread, where he Blessed and distributed bread to the people of his city, to return to them their coins and other possessions. Read this beautiful story about the beginning of this tradition.
Doxastikon: The Hierarchs of Christ, and the pride of the Fathers, the towers of the Faith, and the teachers and protectors of the faithful, let us gather together, O lovers of Feasts, and offer them hymns of praise, hymning them as we say: Rejoice, light of the Church, O Wise Basil, and immovable pillar. Rejoice, heavenly nous, O Great Archpriest, Gregory the Theologian. Rejoice, O All-Golden John Chrysostom, the stentorian preacher of repentance. But, O thrice-joyous Fathers, do not cease to ever entreat Christ on behalf of those who celebrate your All-Sacred and Divine Feast with faith and fervour.
Apolytikion: The three greatest beacons of the Three-sunned Godhead, who lighted the whole inhabited world with the beams of their Divine doctrines, the rivers of wisdom flowing with honey, who watered all creation with streams of the knowledge of God, Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian with famous John whose tongue spoke golden words, let all we lovers of their words now assembled honour them in hymns. For they ever intercede with the Trinity on our behalf.
Oikos: Who is sufficient to open his lips and to move his tongue concerning them that breathed with fire in the power of the Word and the Spirit? Howbeit, I shall make bold to speak of such a thing; for the three of them have surpassed all human nature by their great graces, which were many; and in discipline and divine vision, they have outdone them that were illustrious in both. Therefore, Thou hast deemed them worthy of the greatest gifts, since they are thy faithful servants, O Thou Who along dost Glorify Thy Saints.
Hymn: With what crowns of praise shall we crown those teachers, separated in body, united in spirit; leaders of the God-mantled ones, servants of the Trinity and equal to it in number; stars illuminating the universe, and pillars of the Church, who being victorious, have been crowned with crowns of glory by Christ our King and God who possesseth the Great Mercy?
Hymn: With what lofty hymns shall we praise those High Priests, equal to the Apostles in grace, ranking with them in honor and gifts, abolishers of infidelity, saviours and guides by word and deed, shepherds resembling Christ in faith, Earthly Angels, celestial humans, who were honoured by Christ, the Lord of Glory and Possessor of the Great Mercy?
Hymn: With what crowns of praise shall we crown the golden-worded John, with Basil and Gregory, those Spirit-revering vessels and steadfast contenders for the faith, pillars of the Church, confirmation of believers, and comforters to all sinners, springs overflowing with water, from which as we drink, our Souls are refreshed, seeking forgiveness of iniquities and the Great Mercy?
… and, speaking with a single voice, they said: ‘As you see, the three of us are with God and no discord or rivalry divides us. Each of us, according to the circumstances and according to the inspiration that he received from the Holy Spirit, wrote and taught what befits the Salvation of mankind. There is not among us a first, a second or a third, and if you invoke one of us the other two are immediately present with him. Therefore, tell those who are quarrelling not to create divisions in the Church because of us, for when we were on Earth we spared no effort to re-establish unity and concord in the world. You can conjoin our three Commemorations in one Feast and compose a Service for it, inserting the Hymns dedicated to each of us according to the skill and knowledge that God has given you. Then transmit it to the Christians with the command to celebrate it each year. If they honour us thus as being with and in God, we give them our word that we will intercede for their Salvation in our common Prayer.’