Tuesday, 27 January 2015 14:36

Three Hierarchs Feast – Friday, January 30th – School Closed

In accordance with the Ministry’s announced school holidays, this year we celebrate the Three Hierarchs Feast on January 30th. It is a school holiday and all schools in the island, public and private, will be closed that day.

The Three Hierarchs played a very important role in education and supported the role of the teachers as it is concerned with forming and appreciating characters. They urged educators to demonstrate their love for their students while they were teaching and to respect and recognize the specific traits of each one. They focused on the character of the teacher and recommended that anyone wishing to undertake the task of an educator should be compassionate, self-effacing, willing to sacrifice themselves and be free of pride and arrogance. Moreover, they should always confirm what they taught with their own, personal example.

The Three Hierarchs were highly influential bishops of the early church who played pivotal roles in shaping Christian theology. The three are venerated as saints in Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Anglicanism and other Christian churches.  The Three Hierarchs were: 

  • Basil the Great (330 – 379)
  • Gregory the Theologian (349 – 407)
  • John Chrysostom (329 – 389)

They share the same feast because when a controversy about the three holy Hierarchs and Fathers of the Church arose in Constantinople among men learned in Faith and zealous for virtue, some argued that Saint Basil was above the other two whilst others supported their favourite bishops.  Soon the whole Christian population were caught up in the dispute in what seemed like an endless argument. The solution to this was given when one night the three holy Hierarchs appeared in a dream to Saint John Mauropus separately at first, then together, and speaking with a single voice, they said: “As you see, the three of us are with God and no discord or rivalry divides us”. Saint John immediately assembled the people and informed them of this revelation. He then selected January the 30th as appropriate to their celebration.