If It Weren’t for These Three Saints, Christianity Would Look a Lot Different

Today is the feast day of our Holy Fathers and Great Hierarchs: BASIL THE GREAT, GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN and JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

We owe these godly men an incredible debt. Apart from them we would not have a proper understanding of the Trinity. Were it not for them, we would not believe rightly about the Holy Spirit. Were it not for them and their influence, the Nicene Creed would look different. Were it not for them, we would not worship the way we do.

Thank God today for these men. Even if you’re an evangelical sola scriptura Christian, you would not have the beliefs you do apart from these men.

This from the Prologue:

THE THREE HIERARCHS: SAINT BASIL THE GREAT, SAINT GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN AND SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

Each of these saints have their own feast day. St. Basil the Great, January 1; St. Gregory the Theologian, January 25; and St. John Chrysostom, January 27. This combined feast day, January 30, was instituted in the eleventh century during the reign of Emperor Alexius Comnenus. At one time a debate arose among the people concerning who of the three is the greatest? Some extolled Basil because of his purity and courage; others extolled Gregory for his unequaled depth and lofty mind in theology; still others extolled Chrysostom because of his eloquence and clarity in expounding the Faith. Thus some were called Basilians, others Gregorgians, and the third were called Johannites. This debate was settled by Divine Providence to the benefit of the Church and to an even greater glory of the three saints. Bishop John of Euchaita (June 14) had a vision in a dream: At first, all three of these saints appeared to him separately in great glory and indescribable beauty, and after that all three appeared together. They said to him, “As you see, we are one in God and there is nothing contradictory in us; neither is there a first or a second among us.” The saints also advised Bishop John that he write a common service for them and to order a common feast day of celebration. Following this wonderful vision, the debate was settled in this manner: January 30 would be designated as the common feast of these three hierarchs. The Greeks consider this feast not only an ecclesiastical feast but their greatest national school holiday.

And this is from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese:

This common feast of these three teachers was instituted a little before the year 1100, during the reign of the Emperor Alexis I Comnenus, because of a dispute and strife that arose among the notable and virtuous men of that time. Some of them preferred Basil, while others preferred Gregory, and yet others preferred John Chrysostom, quarreling among themselves over which of the three was the greatest. Furthermore, each party, in order to distinguish itself from the others, assumed the name of its preferred Saint; hence, they called themselves Basilians, Gregorians, or Johannites. Desiring to bring an end to the contention, the three Saints appeared together to the saintly John Mavropous, a monk who had been ordained Bishop of Euchaita, a city of Asia Minor, they revealed to him that the glory they have at the throne of God is equal, and told him to compose a common service for the three of them, which he did with great skill and beauty. Saint John of Euchaita (celebrated Oct. 5) is also the composer of the Canon to the Guardian Angel, the Protector of a Man’s Life. In his old age, he retired from his episcopal see and again took up the monastic life in a monastery in Constantinople. He reposed during the reign of the aforementioned Emperor Alexis Comnenus (1081-1118).

Troparion of the Three Great Hierarchs Tone 1
Let all who love their words come together and honour with hymns/ the three luminaries of the light-creating Trinity:
Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian,
and renowned John of golden speech,
who have enlightened the world with the rays of their divine doctrines,
and are mellifluous rivers of wisdom
who have watered all creation with streams of divine knowledge;
they ever intercede with the Trinity for us.

Kontakion of the Three Great Hierarchs Tone 2
Thou hast taken the sacred and divinely inspired heralds,
the crown of Thy teachers, O Lord,
for the enjoyment of Thy blessings and for repose.
For Thou hast accepted their sufferings and labours above every burnt offering,
O Thou Who alone dost glorify Thy Saints.

2 thoughts on “If It Weren’t for These Three Saints, Christianity Would Look a Lot Different

  1. By studying the lives of saints, we all benefit – ‘if you want to grow wise keep company with the wise’ (prov 13:22).

    True saints will point to 1 Peter 4 – To God be the glory! They will not take the glory on themselves or let themselves be venerated:

    Confer Acts 10:45,46

    Blessings,

    Bob(A.)

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