When we pray "Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers..." who are we referring to?
1) The Church Fathers, such as St. Basil, etc.
2) Monasteries didn't necessarily have priests/clergy in the past, and as such would ask for the intercession through the prayers of those with holy orders of the church. Although I am still curious as it seems priests themselves say this prayers.
3) All the saints perhaps? Although someone once mentioned that we don't do through the prayers of our holy fathers and MOTHERS, unless it means to be all inclusive, which I don't think it's supposed to be?
So who are the Holy Fathers?