The Secondary School of the Three Saints Hierarchs celebrated its Saints Patrons

Romanian Orthodox Church

Thursday, 30 January 2014, the four years old Secondary School of the “Three Saints Hierarchs” of the “Saint Nicholas” University chapel celebrated its Saints Patrons, Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and Saint John Chrysostom. The festive time was held in “Patriarch Teoctist” Aula Magna of the Patriarchate Palace, in the presence of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Mrs Prof Nicoleta Sive, head mistress of the School delivered the opening speech.

“We, the teachers of the Secondary School of Three Saints Hierarchs, answered the call of the Church in which we pray God, through the voice of Rev Vasile Gavrila, and we received these children as a present to guide, teach and form them according to single model, the perfect Model of God. (…) The patronage of Saint Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom is not only blessing, but also high call. We wanted to share the grace that they received not only as brilliant disciples during their studies, but also as teachers of the world and hierarchs who will always shine in the minds and hearts of the Christian teachers and pedagogues”, Prof Nicoleta Sive said.

Then, parish priest Vasile Gavrila expressed his commitment on behalf of the Secondary School of Three Saints Hierarchs to prepare the students of this educational institution for this world and for the Kingdom of God: “We have gathered in this festive communion under the blessing of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel to celebrate the Three Saints Hierarchs as great teachers of the world. Who could evoke them better than the teachers and students? We are going to make fruitful – through the Secondary School of the Three Saints Hierarchs – the field they planted the same as the great schools which had the Three Saints Hierarchs as guiders bore fruit. Please receive, Your Beatitude, our gratitude for the blessing you gave us, as well as our commitment to God, to the Three Saints Hierarchs, and to Your Beatitude, as shepherds of the Church of Christ, where we endeavour and make efforts to accomplish at the highest level the vocation of Christian teachers preparing the children for this world and for the Kingdom of God according to the words of Saint John Chrysostom who saw in every child an athlete of Christ and a son of the Kingdom of God”.

Then, the chorus of the Three Saints Hierarchs School sang several religious songs. There followed the play: “A different lesson: learning about the Three Saints Hierarchs” performed by the students of the school of the Three Saints Hierarchs of Bucharest. The artistic programme continued with the concert of the psalmic group of the church of Saint Nicholas – university chapel which sang several chants dedicated to the Three Saints Hierarchs.

To end with, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel delivered a blessing speech and offered the Secondary School of the Three Saints Hierarchs the Diploma of Honour of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Protector of Romania and three homage medals of the Three Saints Hierarchs.

The exhibition entitled “Under the protection of the Three Saints Hierarchs” was opened in Europa Christiana Hall, where those present could admire icons and photographs of the church and school life.

The secondary school of the “Three Saints Hierarchs” operates with the high blessing of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel and it is a project stemmed from a need of the community, an answer project and a solution for the young families faced with hard experiences in their efforts to educate their children healthy and harmoniously. The school of “Three Saints Hierarchs” is a school unit focused both on the highly qualitative education of the children and on the spirit of the Christian values. It is not a confessional school, but the educational environment in which it develops its activity is based on the Christian Orthodox harmony and senses. The Three Saints Hierarchs were the protectors of the poor.

Today, 30 January 2014, the Orthodox faithful celebrate the Three Saints Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom.

The Three Saints Hierarchs loved the image of God in every human

“The Three Saints Hierarchs” are a model of shepherds who defend the right faith in times of alienation from the right faith, in times of heresy, and trouble. These Three Saints Hierarchs loved the Church of Christ with much sacrifice. The Three Saints Hierarchs are those who fought and defended the human dignity, the Patriarch of Romania said in the speech delivered at the Divine Liturgy, in the patriarchal chapel of “Saint Gregory the Enlightener”. They showed love for the clergy, for the servants of the Holy Altar, wrote very eulogistic words about the priestly service and loved their faithful listening to their troubles and needs, guiding them on the way of salvation with much fatherly devotion and love in Christ. They have also loved the image of God in every human, no matter his social state, age, rank, so that all the Three Saints Hierarchs we, in some way, the defenders or lawyers of the poor”, His Beatitude explained.

A defender of the right faith, as well as a help of the poor

The Patriarch of Romania presented a part of the activity of every saint and showed that in the case of Saint Basil the Great he is the first hierarch who passed from the individual sporadic mercy to the social mercy institutionally organised: “Saint Basil the Great implemented into permanent programmes the merciful love of Jesus Christ, our Lord, shown through the healing of the sick, helping of the hungry, raising of the fallen man and recuperating the human dignity. Thus, Saint Basil the Great is the first hierarch who passed from the individual sporadic mercy to the social mercy institutionally organised constantly or permanently. His model is applied in almost all the Churches in the East and many in the West. Thus, he is both a defender of the right faith and a helper of the poor. In time of draught he wrote or delivered speeches against the rich and avaricious and defended the poor, protecting the dignity of the man in which Christ is present when the man is humiliated. We have a guider of the monks in him. He considers monasticism is a school of salvation through efforts and a boon for the Church, because the monasteries are a source of spiritual renewal and repentance. Thus, just like the other saints hierarchs, Saint Basil the Great is a teacher of good order, repentance, of man’s improvement and of spiritual life. He fasted a lot and had a poor state of health, but a very strong spirit, and a soul full of the Holy Spirit Who gave him power. His vast culture acquired at the schools of Caesarea of Cappadocchia and in Athens where he studied together with Gregory the Theologian his friend, made him admired even by pagans, not only by Christians. He had very good knowledge of the science of his time so that he had a sort of dialogue with the contemporary science, taking over and urging others to take over too from the classic Greek Roman culture what was good and useful for preaching the Gospel.

He used all his knowledge for supporting Orthodoxy

“Saint Gregory the Theologian or Saint Gregory Speaker of God was a contemporary and friend of Saint Basil the Great. His father was a bishop, Gregory of Nazianz. He was also a man willing of improvement and loving spiritual life. He spent a time at the monastery founded by Saint Basil the Great in Cappadocchia and having studied with Saint Basil the Great in Athens, he availed of this friendship to protect the faith when faced with the Arians, with the heretics of his time. Saint Gregory the Theologian, just like his father Gregory of Nazians, was inclined to a brilliant service for the faithful, but he used all his knowledge to protect Orthodoxy in the capital of the Empire, in Constantinople. In 379, he went to Constantinople and started preaching the right faith in the Holy Trinity, so that he succeeded in turning an Arian city – because the Arians had taken hold of Constantinople and all the churches had become Arians but one, a chapel called the church of the Resurrection – into an Orthodox one, because many people returned to Orthodoxy after listening to his sermons on the Holy Trinity. So, in 380, he was elected Archbishop of Constantinople and in 381 he chaired the proceedings of the Ecumenical Council II which combated the heresy of those who were denying the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Thus, in the person of Saint Gregory the Theologian we have a fighter for defending the right faith and a poet too. He is one of the first theologians who wrote Christian poems of special theological depth. Because his sermons on the Holy Trinity, especially the Five theological speeches have become very well known and appreciated he was called Gregory the Theologians, after Saint Apostle John the Evangelist and Theologian”, His Beatitude said about Saint Gregory the Theologian.

The greatest orator or preacher of the Christian Church

The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church also eulogized the personality of the third saint celebrated today, showing that “Saint John Chrysostom was the greatest orator or preacher of the Christian Church. He was not Cappadocchian like the two other holy fathers, but Antiochian. He was a priest in Antioch for about 12 years, interpreted the Holy Scripture and spoke so nicely that everybody appreciated him. This is why the emperor has almost forced him to become Archbishop of Constantinople. He has not served too long because he combated the passions of the rich, their pride, luxury, waste of money and arrogance, as well as the parties of Empress Eudoxia, which fact caused her anger. She convened a Council, banished him, but he was brought back to Constantinople under the pressure of the faithful. He criticised once again the social injustice of his time and Empress Eudoxia too, so that he was banished for the second time and died in exile on 14 September 407. Because this day is dedicated to the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, his celebration day is 13 November every year. Saint John Chrysostom bequeathed homilies of great value both for defending the right faith and for improving the life of the Christians. He is a profound theologian teaching the virtues. First of all he is a repentance and improvement teacher, urging man to repent, to change his life and be elevated, not to remain in the sinful fall. This is why he was called a repentance teacher. Saint John Chrysostom wrote or delivered homilies interpreting the Holy Scriptures. He has homilies to the texts of the Old Testament, and especially the interpretation of the Gospel according to Matthew which is the best known of all his works, just like the interpretations of the 14 Epistles of Saint Paul the Apostle, and of the Gospel according to John as well”.

The Three Saints Hierarchs lived in the 4th century, the church history mentioning them as protectors of the theological education and defenders of the right faith in regard to the dogma of the Holy Trinity. Besides the gift of the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures they have also held the high position of hierarch.