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The Three Holy Hierarchs are Saint Basil (or Vasili), Saint John Chrysostom, and Saint Gregory the Theologian. They all lived a holy and yet public life in the latter part of the 4th century, and were great teachers and theologians. Saint Basil, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, consecrated his former schoolmate Gregory (also known as “Nazianzen” from his hometown) as bishop of Sasima in Cappadocia. Saint Gregory was then called upon to serve as the Patriarch of Constantinople, but resigned this office when a quarrel broke out over his election.
Saint John Chrysostom also served later as the Patriarch of Constantinople and although his sermons were universally lauded (“Chrysostom” means “golden mouth”), his honesty and unbending devotion to the Christian faith caused the Empress Eudoxia to persecute him to death. When in the 11th century devotion to the three led to partisan rivalries among the Faithful, they appeared in a vision to a holy bishop telling him, “We are one in God,” and charging him with the institution of this common feast. Truly there are no rivalries in Heaven, but mutual honor and respect instead.
|Church Feast Day 1
20th c. (Late)
Monk Michael of Athos