The Three Hierarchs

The Three Holy Fathers, Great Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers, St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom are seen as the greatest of the Church Fathers whose teachings shaped Orthodox Theology. To honor their supreme contribution to education, their unshakable and zealous faith in God and their incomparable pastoral and charitable activities, the common feast of the three great Saints was established by the Church in the 11th Century. Since then, it has been common for the feast of the Three Hierarchs to be associated with education and officially recognized as the greatest feast for Greek schools.

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.

Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great, was the bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor. He was an influential theologian who supported the Nicene Creed and opposed the heresies of the early Christian church, fighting against both Arianism and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea. His ability to balance his theological convictions with his political connections made Basil a powerful advocate for the Nicene position.

Born:  330 AD, Kayseri, Turkey
Died: January 1, 379 AD, Caesarea, Israel
Patronage:Russia, Cappadocia, Hospital administrators, Reformers, Monks, Education, Exorcism, Liturgists

John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. Chrysostom was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church, exceeded only by Augustine of Hippo in the quantity of his surviving writings.

Born: 349 AD,  Antioch, Turkey
Died: September 14, 407 AD, Comana Pontica
Patronage:  Epilepsy, Orator, Preacher, Constantinople, Education, Lecturer

Gregory of Nazianzus, also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianzen, was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople, and theologian. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age.

Born: 329 AD Arianzum, Cappadocia
Died: January 25, 390 AD, Nazianzus

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

to be notified of the latest Academy news and upcoming events

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

to be notified of the latest Academy news and upcoming events