JANUARY 25, 2015 -
“THE PILLARS OF THE CHURCH”
It is human nature to attempt to define “greatness” in any given field. Who was the greatest President, baseball player or actor? These subjective matters will be debated until the end of time!
Even the Church itself has been involved in similar controversy. In the latter years of the 11th century, a dispute arose among the faithful: Who contributed more to the Church? Was it Basil the Great? Was it Gregory the Theologian? Was it John Chrysostom? Ironically, even though they had been dead for centuries, the saintly bishops themselves settled the controversy!
As this issue continued to be debated, Patriarch John of Constantinople was selected to be the mediator on this matter. It was agreed that his decision would settle the disagreement forever. Being a learned and holy man himself, Patriarch John prayed fervently asking God to give him the wisdom to make the proper choice. Miraculously, the Three Hierarchs appeared to him in a vision! This was their message to John: “As you can see, we are on before God. Each one of us was differently inspired by the Holy Spirit and taught what was necessary for man’s salvation. There is no first or second among us. Command those who are arguing over us not to divide themselves. Our goal is to bring all people together!”
Patriarch John did as he was commanded. In 1706 A.D., he established the FEAST OF THE THREE HIERARCHS, giving equal praise to this trio of Church Fathers. Their preaching, teaching and writing remain in our Faith today as a lasting reminder of their commitment to Christ.