The Three Holy Hierarchs: Saint Basil the Great, Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Gregory the Theologian

Feast Day: January 30th


The Three Hierarchs: The Three Hierarchs – an Earthly Trinity as they are called in some of the wonderful Troparia of their Service – have taught us, in their writings and equally by their lives, to Worship and to Glorify the Holy Trinity, the One God in Three Persons…

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The Three Holy Hierarchs are Saint Basil the Great, Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Gregory the Theologian.


Prayers

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?


The Mothers of the Three Holy Hierarchs are Saint Emmelia – the Mother of Saint Basil the Great, Saint Anthousa – the Mother of Saint John Chrysostom, and Saint Nonna – the Mother of Saint Gregory the Theologian. These women are beautiful examples of Christian motherhood, with their lives shining with virtue and their upbringing of Holy children.

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… 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.’

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