Wednesday, January 30, 2008

From the Menaion - 30 January


On 30 January, we commemorate our Fathers among the Saints, the great Ecumenical Teachers and Hierarchs, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom.

Three stars: it was just to bring them together: their lives radiate a light of triple brilliance. It should be a common praise that we offer to those who have offered the same grace to all. One swallow alone does not make the springtime: three holy ones together bring about the springtime of our souls. The Trinity shines upon the intelligent world; this trio illuminates the visible world. The ancients destroyed the worship of the True God: their sun and moon engendered only darkness. Admiring their splendor with too much haste, they adored their borrowed flame. But by these three torches, their embers were extinguished. They returned us to the True Faith. The beauty of their lives and their holy eloquence made us worship the only Providence. Fire and water, earth and air constitute reality for our earthly eyes. But they, by uniting the great, vast world to our faith in God, showing a new creation based on both, have imitated in themselves the Three Elements of the only Trinity. They have not prepared a cure from any earthly things; there is no worldly spirit in their writings. The word of Gregory is breath of fire; it is his intent to make us run to things on high. The word of Basil brings back a breath of health to those weakened by unhealthy passions. Like the flow of the waters of a river, the words of Chrysostom go straight to the heart to refresh those consumed by burning passions. Thus, by their words, human nature is lifted up from the depths to unheard of heights. On the thirtieth, their triple light shines forth!

On this same day, we commemorate the passion of the holy Hieromartyr Hippolytus, Pope of Rome, and his companions Censures, Sabainos, Chrysa and others.

Valiantly Hippolytus plunged into the water, like a horse enjoying a full gallop on the plain. Censures presented his head to the sword as a polishing stone for his fellow athletes. The sons of darkness, the heartless executioners, burnt the entrails of the victorious Sabainos. Chrysa, thrown into the waters, went freshly bathed as a new bride into the heavenly wedding changer. Hippolytus entered the heavenly fish pond when he was plunged under the dark waters on the thirtieth of January.

By their holy prayers, O our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

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