Monday, January 30, 2012

Commemoration of the Three Holy Hierarchs

Today, January 31, the Holy Orthodox Church commemorates the three holy hierarchs: Sts. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom.

In contemplating the lives and works of Basil, Gregory and John we realize, more than anything else, how a small group of faithful people can do much for the edification of the Church and the salvation of souls. We see also how no one can live in isolation, how even the greatest of the saints needed other saints to inspire and encourage them, to instruct and support them in their service. We see as well that intelligence and learning are not enough. Peoples' minds must be devoted to God and to divine wisdom and truth, but one must love God not only with all one's mind, but with one's heart, soul and strength as well. The three holy hierarchs were men of ascetic discipline and fervent prayer. They were men of the Church, and not of the academy. Andy they were men who were willing not only to preach, but to practice what they preached; not only to talk but to work and not only to work but to suffer for the Word of God Who came himself into the world not only to preach, but to suffer an die for the sake of the salvation of all.--Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Winter Pascha, p. 168

Let us who love their words come together with hymns,
To honor the three great torch-bearers of the Triune Godhead,
Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom,
These men have enlightened the world with teh rays of their divine doctrines.
They are flowing rivers of wisdom,
Who have filled all creation with the springs of heavenly knowledge.
They ceaselessly intercede for us before the Holy Trinity.
--Apolytikion of the Feast

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