Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good Things Come in Threes

We've got the Three Musketeers, Peter, Paul, and Mary (the band, not the early Apostles), Big Three in Boston, Three Stooges, Three Little Pigs, and Three Amigos, but for Orthodox Christians, its all about the Three Holy Hierarchs (Ss. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom), bishops in the 4th century, whom we commemorate on January 30th in the Life of the Church.

Three Holy Hierarchs

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These men great in knowledge, piety, and charity offer unto us the example of Christian teaching and more importantly, Christian living.  A great many of their works have been preserved and can be found HERE.

The Orthodox Church teaches about the creation of this Feastday (January 30th) of the Synaxis of the Three Holy Hierarchs and Great Ecumenical Teachers, as follows:

"Disputes raged in 11th century Constantinople about which of the three hierarchs was the greatest. Some argued that Basil was superior to the other two because of his explanations of Christian faith and monastic example. Supporters of John Chrysostom countered that the "Golden Mouthed" archbishop of Constantinople was unmatched in both eloquence and in bringing sinners to repentance. A third group insisted that Basil's close friend, Gregory the Theologian, was preferred to the others due to the majesty, purity and profundity of his homilies and his defense of the faith from the Arian heresy. All three have separate feast days in January: Basil on January 1, Gregory on January 25, and Chrysostom on January 27. The Eastern Churches teach that the three hierarchs appeared together in a vision to St. John Mauropous, bishop of Euchaita, in the year 1084, and said that they were equal before God: 'There are no divisions among us, and no opposition to one another.' As a result, a January 30 feastday commemorating all three in common was instituted around 1100 under the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos."

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Through the prayers of the Three Holy Hierarchs and Great Ecumenical Teachers: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom, O Lord, Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon us and save us.

- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director

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