Saint Basil, known as “the Great”, was born approximately in 330 AD and passed away on January 1, 379 AD in Caesarea in Cappadocia, now known as Kayseri in modern Turkey. He hailed from a prominent and devout family: his father was Basil the Elder, son of Macrina “the Elder”, and his mother was Emmelia. He had notable siblings: Gregory of Nyssa, Peter of Sebaste, and Macrina “the younger”. Basil’s upbringing was steeped in religion, followed by his education in Caesarea, Constantinople – present-day Istanbul, and Athens. As an ascetic, bishop, and church teacher, he emerged as a pivotal figure in 4th-century Christianity and is considered a paramount figure within the church at large. Alongside his brother Gregory of Nyssa and their close associate Gregory of Nazianzus, they are recognized as the three Cappadocian Church Fathers. Furthermore, Basil, along with Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom, comprise the three holy hierarchs. His patronage extends to children and monks of the Eastern Church, as well as seafarers. His feast days are observed on January 1 and January 30.
Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, known as “the Theologian”, was born around 330 AD and passed away on January 25, circa 390 AD on the Arianz estate near Nazianzus, which is presently likely the Monastery Valley near Güzelyurt in Turkey. He served as the bishop of Sasima in Cappadocia and for a brief period, the metropolitan of Constantinople. Along with Basil the Great and his brother Gregory of Nyssa, he was one of the three Cappadocian Fathers, often referred to as the Cappadocian triumvirate. Their theological insights significantly shaped the doctrine of the Trinity during the 4th century. He stands as one of the four great Greek Doctors of the Ancient Church and is among the three Church Fathers accorded with the official title “the Theologian”. Gregory, together with Basil the Great and John Chrysostom, form the holy trio of hierarchs. His feast days fall on January 25 and September 21, and he is regarded as the patron saint of poets.
Saint John Chrysostom, who hailed from Antioch, was born circa 345 AD and died on September 14, 407 AD in Comana Pontica, now the ruins in Gümenek near Tokat in Turkey. He was a presbyter in Antioch and an archbishop of Constantinople, holding the reputation as one of Christianity’s greatest orators. In the 6th century, he was conferred the moniker “Chrysostom,” translating to “Golden Mouth”, which continues to be his popular epithet. In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, he has been venerated since the 10th century as one of the three holy hierarchs alongside Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzus. Within Western Christianity, he is acknowledged as one of the four Doctors of the East, together with Athanasius of Alexandria, Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nazianzus. Known for his ascetic lifestyle, eloquent public speaking skills, and opposition to the misuse of church and state authority, John Chrysostom is widely revered. His feast days are observed on January 30 and November 13, and he is considered the patron saint of prayers, preachers, and speakers.
The saints are portrayed on a silver oklad, hallmarked with the number 84. The silver oklad bears the initials A.C, presumably belonging to an unidentified master craftsman. This artefact is a testament to the faith and the artisans of the time, their devotion manifested through their craftsmanship.