Three Hierarchs

Three Hierarchs and the Cappodocian Fathers

Home Activities:

  • St. Basil, with his far-reaching ministry, is the best-known of this group.  Visit a hospital; Basil founded hospitals. 
  • Visit a homeless shelter; Basil sheltered travelers and homeless people in his day. 
  • With an older child, read through the Liturgy of St. Basil, next to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, in the worship notebooks; how are they alike and how different? 
  • Vasilopita, or St. Basil's bread/cake, is well known. Make it with your child and hide a coin in it. Why?
  • Color the icon picture of all three together for your icon corner.

Prayer: Lord, help me to serve You and Your people as did Your servants Basil, John, Gregory, and Gregory.

A Simple Recipe for Vasilopita


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • Grated rind of 2 large oranges
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg yolk blended with 1 tablespoon milk
  • sesame seeds
  • blanched almonds
  • a clean coin - a quarter will do nicely - wrapped in silver or gold foil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thickly butter a 10-inch round spring form pan.

2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar and beat until the mixture is light. Beat in the eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the orange rind and cinnamon.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together three cups of the flour, the baking powder and salt.

4. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the dry mixture alternately with the milk. The batter will be very thick. Using a wooden spoon, gradually blend in the remaining flour, beating well until completely smooth.

5. Spread the batter into the pan, press the coin into the dough until it is completely covered (don't let anyone see where you place it!), and then smooth the top. Brush the top evenly with the egg and milk mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Gently press the blanched almonds into the top to make a Cross and spell out the date of the new year.

6. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown (if it browns too quickly, cover the top with aluminum foil). Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing from spring form and thoroughly cool before slicing.





HINT: I am either Basil the Great, Gregory Nazianzus, or Gregory of Nyssa – one of the Cappodocian Fathers.


I wrote a Liturgy still used today.               I am _____________________


I am known as “The Theologian.”              I am _____________________


I am Basil’s brother.                                   I am _____________________


I am Basil’s good friend.                             I am _____________________


I am known for organizing monastic life.   I am _____________________


I was bishop of Nyssa.                               I am _____________________


I was bishop of Caesarea.                          I am _____________________


I was bishop of Sasima.                             I am _____________________


I was married to Theosebeia.                      I am _____________________


God protected me in an earthquake.           I am _____________________


God saved me from a storm at sea.            I am _____________________


I gave bread with coins to the poor.           I am _____________________