Synaxis of the Three Hierarchs  

 

January 30 is the Feast Day of the Synaxis of the Three Hierarchs, St Basil the Great, St John Chrysostom and St Gregory the Theologian (Nazianzus) who are the Patron Saints of education and teaching. Each of these great Fathers have their own feast day: St Basil on January 1, St John Chrysostom on November 13 and January 27 and St Gregory the Theologian on January 25.

 However, this combined feast day, January 30, was instituted in the eleventh century during the reign of Emperor Alexius Comnenus.

Once, a debate arose among the people concerning who among the three was the greatest. Some extolled Basil because of his purity and courage; others extolled Gregory for his unequalled 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 Gregorians, and the third was called Johannites. This debate was settled by divine providence, to the benefit of the Church and to the 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 to 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 the feast not only an ecclesiastical feast but also a great national and school holiday.

Apolytikion

The three most great luminaries of the Three-Sun Divinity have illumined all of the world with the rays of doctrines divine and true; they are the sweetly-flowing rivers of wisdom, who with godly knowledge have watered all creation in clear and mighty streams: The great and sacred Basil, and the Theologian, wise Gregory, together with the renowned John, the famed Chrysostom of golden speech. Let us all who love their divinely-wise words come together, honouring them with hymns; for ceaselessly they offer entreaty for us to the Trinity.

Kontakion

Receive, O Lord, the Sacred Heralds who preached God, the pinnacle of Teachers, unto the enjoyment of Your riches and rest. You have received their labors and their suffering as being above and beyond all fruitful offering. For You alone glorify Your Saints.

Xronia Polla!

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