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The Orthodox Church celebrates the Three Hierarchs

Today, January 30, the Church celebrates the three Hierarchs, the protectors of the Letters. But who were the three Hierarchs and why do we honor them?

With the term "Three Hierarchs," we refer to the three eminent saints and theologians, King the Great, John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzine.

For their wisdom and their Christian life, the Orthodox Church called them saints and celebrates each one separately. But because there was a dispute among Christians about which of the three offered the most, it was decided and established by the end of the 4th century that for all three there is a common celebration on January 30 of each year.

Basil the Great

Saint Basil or Basil of Caesarea, was bishop of Caesarea and considered the Father of the Church and one of the greatest theologians of the Orthodox Church. His contribution to Christian theology is considered to be crucial, and the "divine liturgy of Basil the Great" is also attributed to him. He studied in Athens and considered the study of classical writers and Greek philosophy very important, of course within the Christian sphere. His contribution to the development of letters and charity made him one of the greatest figures of Christian tradition.

Ioannis the Chrysostomos

It is believed that his tongue was "honey" because he was the most charismatic orator of his time. He was Patriarch of Constantinople and devoted his life to the development of charity. In fact, the meals for the poor he set up fed 7,000 people daily!

In the field of philosophy, he may have rejected the theories of ancient Greeks about God, but he did not hesitate to use the instrumental methods of their philosophy to develop a systematic theology.

In his life he was a model ascetic, and he did not fail to condemn those priests who were enriched by their status. Such was the cruel criticism of the Emperors, who ultimately courted him and exiled him. But his reputation has surpassed him since he is considered a saint of almost all Christian confessions.

Gregory of Nazianzus also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianze

Also known by the nickname "theologian," Gregory was a Patriarch of Constantinople in the 4th century. His influence on Trinitarian theology is considered so important that he became known as the "Trinitarian Theologian". Most of his works still affect contemporary theologians, especially with regard to the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity. He was a friend of Basil the Great as well as of his brother St. Gregory of Nyssa.

He was a keen admirer of letters and he wanted to bridge the gap between Greek-speaking and Latin-speaking theologians of his time. Apart from an excellent theologian, he was also a very good poet, having written several poems with theological and moral themes.