How did the holiday of the three saints

Nika Kravchuk
14.02.2017

How did the holiday of the three saints appear?

On February 12, the Orthodox celebrate the holiday, which is simply called the "Three Hierarchs", and if fully, the council of ecumenical teachers and saints of St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. Why are these saints venerated as ecumenical teachers, and their memory honored on one day?

Three saints

As St. Dimitry of Rostov writes, at the beginning of the second millennium, a dispute broke out in Byzantium: which of the three holy hierarchs stands higher before God. Some, who were called Basilians, believed that St. Basil the Great, Gregorin - Gregory the Theologian and the Johnites - respectively, John Chrysostom. The debate reached a threatening scale - could reach a split. The pious emperor Alexey Comnenus did not know how to reconcile Christians. Every saint was great in his own way.

Basil the Great - the "first" of the three saints

Basil, Bishop of Caesarea Cappadocia, was the author of the Divine Liturgy according to his rank and the author of some interpretations of the Holy Scriptures.

See also: 6 interesting facts from the life of Basil the Great

Religiosity he absorbed, as they say, with mother's milk. His mother is known to Orthodox Christians as Rev. Emilia, his sister — as Saint Macrina; brothers — canonized as Gregory of Nyssa and Peter of Sebaste. The uncle of Basil the Great was a bishop, and the grandparents suffered for Christ during the cruel persecutions.

St. Basil the Great

Vasily himself received a good education. In Athens, while studying, he met Gregory the Theologian, a friendship with whom he associated with him for the rest of his life. For a long time, Basil spent in solitary prayer, fasting and work. But in difficult times for Christians (remnants of paganism and the emergence of heresies) became a bishop. For a strict character, a pious example, an inquiring mind, he loved his congregation.

True, the saint lived for a relatively short time: he died at the age of 49.

Gregory the Theologian - the "second" of the three hierarchs

Gregory the Theologian was a good friend of Basil the Great. Together they labored in the wilderness, together in difficult times defended the Christian faith from heretical attacks.

But Gregory, when compared with Vasily, was a man of a different disposition. He preferred solitude to pastoral service.

Nevertheless, Gregory still took holy orders at the request of his father.By the way, the whole family of Gregory the Theologian is also canonized. His father, St. Gregory of Nazianza, was the bishop of Nazianz, his mother was Saint Nonna, and his brother and sister were the righteous Caesarea and Gorgon.

St. Gregory the Theologian

By God's providence, the people chose Gregory the Theologian as Bishop of Constantinople. But he did not last long at this place - detractors accused him of illegally becoming on the chair of Constantinople. Exhausted by the struggle for power characteristic of church circles of that time, Gregory retires to his native Nazianz.

He refuses to attend church councils, although at the First Council it was Gregory who played the key role in presenting the dogma of the Most Holy Trinity and consequently condemning heresies. The saint lived for 69 years and set after himself a testament to Christians in the form of his spiritual creations, among which are the famous five words “On Theology” (this is why the saint was called the Theologian).

John Chrysostom - the "third" of the three saints

First of all, St. John is known as the author of the Divine Liturgy, a skilled orator and theologian. For the gift of eloquence and the ability to preach, he was called Chrysostom.Saint John paid special attention to reading and understanding of the Holy Scriptures. His authorship is the interpretation of the Old Testament (on the book of Genesis, psalms, prophets) and the New (Gospel of Matthew and John, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistle).

See also: 7 lessons from the life of John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom

Together with the congregation — and St. John was the Archbishop of Constantinople — he studied the Scriptures. To make it easier for believers to understand what was written, he explained complex fragments. John, unlike Basil the Great, had a gentle disposition. The congregation loved its archbishop for love, wisdom, meekness and a fiery word.

But the saint had to go through a lot. The last years of his life he spent in exile, even in the most difficult trials without losing faith in God. He died at the age of 60. As written in the life, he took communion, uttered “Glory to God for everything” and went away to the Lord.

How was the dispute of Constantinople resolved?

Each of the three hierarchs is great in its own way. But who is more? Today this question sounds silly. But the residents of Constantinople could not decide who to put in the first place. Nothing like? And the reflections of the apostles, who will take what place in the kingdom of heaven?

It is not known how the controversies of Constantinople would end if the saints themselves had not intervened.

They appeared in a dream to John Mavropod, Metropolitan of Euchite, and asked to reassure the believers. All three saints are equal before God. And in order to avoid such disputes in the future, they asked Metropolitan John to compile a common service for them.

Thus, a holiday appeared, in which we honor the memory of three saints and ecumenical teachers. You can learn more about his story from this video:


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  • How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints


    How did the holiday of the three saints

    How did the holiday of the three saints