On Tuesday the 30th of January, Father Michal of Sts Michael and Gabriel presented an illuminating talk on the life and works of the three holy hierarchs; St John Chrysostom, St Basil the Great and St Gregory the Theologian. Each Father was known for their patristic contributions to the church, providing great doctrinal and liturgical nourishment to the church. Most notably, Fr Michal highlighted the continual use of each Father’s liturgies; the divine liturgy (St John Chrysostom), the presanctified liturgy (St Gregory the Theologian), alongside the liturgy of St Basil the Great, which serves as a reminder of the Fathers’ longstanding and enduring impact on the liturgical practice of the church.
Father Michal noted how St Basil the Great, St John Chrysostom and St Gregory the Theologian are collectively celebrated on this date in order to demonstrate how the diverse works of these figures are united by the same source of divine inspiration.
Father Michal continued in discussing the works of St Basil the Great, who was persuaded by his sister to follow an ascetical journey of life. Father Michal went on to discuss the role of St Basil in combatting heresies such as Arianism alongside leaving an extensive legacy of works, grappling with social and ethical issues through a theological lens. This was established in many of his works such as Canonical Epistles, an extensive collection of letters dealing with all aspects of life from daily events to theological issues, alongside his series of eucharistic prayers forming the liturgy of St Basil.
Father Michal then went on to discuss the life and works of Gregory the Theologian, a friend of St Basil the Great who likewise fought against the then prevalent heresy of Arianism. During the course of St Gregory the Theologian’s ordination to the patriarchate of Constantinople, the church regained all churches lost to Arianism. St Gregory was known as the Theologian due to his eloquent writings such as the Triadica, which were said to surpass even the Greek writers of Antiquity.
Father Michal concluded his talk by discussing the life of St John Chrysostom, who was known as ‘golden-mouthed’, due to the wide-spread appeal of his preaching, and encouraged almsgiving to aid the needy of society. Although called to be the archbishop of Constantinople he faced much criticism and was eventually exiled, although he was posthumously recognised for his works.
Thank you, Fr. Michal for being with us at our regular Bible Studies and for all your efforts.