ByzCatholic, Feasts

Three Holy Hierarchs

The three Holy Hierarchs are pillars of the Byzantine church. Living in and around the 300s, Sts. Basil, Gregory, and John Chrysostom were great theologians during their age. And, not only were they highly acclaimed during their time, but we continue to read their words and be inspired by their lives now. Over a thousand years later.

Receive Updates

No spam guarantee.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

While each of these great men have their own feast days, we celebrate them together on January 30th. According to tradition, during the late 11th century, there were arguments amongst the people about which of these theologians was the greatest. There was Team Basil, who admired the saint’s ability to clearly communicate the mysteries of our faith. Team Gregory protested that their saint was the closest to achieving theosis. Finally, the was Team John Chrysostom, who wrote with such eloquence that we are still using his Divine Liturgy today. (That argument might have swayed me if I lived during that time. After all, my favourite gospel is John the Evangelist’s due to his amazing Greek word-play). Anyways, all this Team one saint versus the other was clearly very unchristian! Instead of promoting the Saints, the factions were arguing and tearing each other down.

Then, one night, a bishop named John Mauropous had a dream where the three holy hierarchs appeared. The three holy hierarchs explained that they are all equal before God. And that they had no desires to be pitted against each other. Then the saints requested that they would be celebrated together on a single feast day.

And that is how we came to have the feast of the 3 Holy Hierarchs!

Holy Hierarchs’ PrayersHoly Hierarchs

Troparion: (tone 4) As equals to the apostles in the way you all lived, and teachers of the whole world, intercede with the Lord of all, to grant peace to the world, and, to our souls, great mercy.

Or

Troparion: (tone 1) Let us who love their words gather together, honoring with hymns the three great torch-bearers of the triune Godhead. You have enlightened the world with sweetly-flowing streams of wisdom, and fill all creation with rivers of heavenly knowledge. Ceaselessly intercede for us, asking for great mercy for our souls before the Holy Trinity!

Kontakion: (tone 2) Lord, You received your inspired and steadfast preachers, your great teachers into the enjoyment of your blessings and into repose. You who alone glorify your saints, accepting their labors and death as better than a sweet-smelling sacrifice.

Prokeimenon: (tone 8) Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

How to Celebrate the 3 Holy Hierarchs

  • Recite the Nicene Creed, a mark of the triumph of orthodoxy over Arianism. The three Holy Hierarchs played an important role in defending the true Trinity.
  • Say a prayer for any monastics in your community, asking for St. Basil’s intercession.
  • Find an icon of the holy hierarchs for your icon corner
  • Pray the tropars for today (listed above) during your icon corner time.
  • Go to Divine Liturgy, and consider the words of St. John Chrysostom as you pray.
  • Children can do Holy Hierarch colouring pages, and write poems to the Trinity to honour God on this feast day.

The Byzantine Life

If you enjoyed this week’s article, you might also be interested in reading about The Feast of the Encounter of Our Lord, or about St. James.

On our Pinterest we have boards full of icons and faith-based activities! New posts are always shared to Facebook, and my husband runs our Twitter (@TheByzLife) and Instagram accounts (username: thebyzantinelife)! And if you want to support our work at TheByzantineLife.com, consider joining us on Patreon. For as little as $5 a month you can get exclusive access to special posts, photos, and updates from our family! https://www.patreon.com/thebyzantinelife

Receive Updates

No spam guarantee.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

You may also like...

Popular Articles...

2 Comments

  1. I just discovered your blog and am loving it! I am a Latin Rite Catholic but attend Eastern services whenever I can an absolutely love them. I am finding your website very educational and love the format. Could you tell me what template you are using, I am trying to start one of my own. Thanks! Dan

    1. TheBadgerDad says:

      Hi Daniel! Many blessings and thank you for your gracious compliments. We use Blossom Feminine Pro for our theme, the website is WordPress based. All the best in your endeavors. -The BadgerDad and Kyleshka

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.