Wednesday, November 13, 2019

St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church Biography – Saint of the Day – September 13

St. John Chrysostom was born in 347 in Antioch in the modern day Turkey. He was the Archbishop of Constantinople. He is recognised as one of the four great doctors of the Church. He was Christened ‘golden-mouthed’ because of his eloquence.

During his early days, in order to break with a world which admired and courted him, in 374, he retired for six years to a neighboring mountain as a hermit.

Having thus acquired the art of Christian silence, he returned to Antioch, and there labored as priest, until he was ordained Bishop of Constantinople in 398. The effect of his sermons was everywhere marvellous.

He had very sweet summons regarding the subject of paganism in the culture of Constantinople and in marriage and parenthood. He spoke extensively about the the bad habit of believers in Constantinople who would participate in the Jewish customs that were against the reality of the risen Jesus Christ.

He was very urgent that his people should frequent the holy sacrifice, and in order to remove all excuse he abbreviated the long Liturgy until then in use.

St. John Chrysostom also spoke against the rampant homosexuality. He argued that those of the same gender who have sex together, must do so because they are insane.

St. John Chrysostom Feast Day

He is honored as a saint in the

  1. Catholic Church (Feast Day – 13 September)
  2. Anglican Church (Feast Day – 13 September)
  3. Oriental Orthodox Church (Feast Day – 13 November and 27 January)
  4. Eastern Orthodox Church (Feast Day – 13 November and 27 January)
  5. Lutheran Church (Feast Day – 13 September and 27 January)
  6. As well as in some others.

St. John Chrysostom is the Patron Saint of

St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church is the Patron Saint of

1. Constantinople
2. Education
3. Epilepsy
4. Lecturers
5. Orators
6. Preachers

Date of Birth

St. John Chrysostom was born in 347 in Antioch in the modern day Turkey

St. John Chrysostom Parents

John’s parents were Greek from Syria. His mother Anthusa as a pagan or as a Christian, and his father was a high-ranking military officer. He was raised by his mother since his father died soon after his birth.

St. John Chrysostom Death

During the reign of St. John Chrysostom as Archbishop of Constantinople, the pope then was Pope Innocent I.

St. John Chrysostom was exiled from Constantinople to the town of Cucusus in Cappadocia, for reasons that are still unknown. He stayed in Cucusus from 404 to 407 when he was further exiled to Pityus, Georgia.

Pope Innocent I protested John’s banishment from Constantinople, without success.

From Cucusus, St. John Chrysostom wrote letters which had very great influence and authority on the people and as a result, he was further exiled to Pitiunt (Pityus) in modern Georgia.

In 407 he was wearing out, but his enemies were impatient. They hurried him off to Pytius on the Euxine, a rough journey of about 400 miles. He was assiduously exposed to every hardship, cold, wet, and semi-starvation, but nothing could overcome his cheerfulness and his consideration for others.

On the journey his sickness increased, and he was warned that his end was nigh. Thereupon, exchanging his travel-stained clothes for white garments.

But unfortunately he never reached this destination, during the journey, he died at Comana Pontica on 14 September 407, where his tomb is a shrine for pilgrims. His last words were said to have been “Glory be to God for all things”.

Veneration and Canonization

Saint Proclus, who became the Archbishop of Constantinople (434–446), preached in the Church of Hagia Sophia, a homily praising St. John Chrysostom. He said,

“O John, your life was filled with sorrow, but your death was glorious. Your grave is blessed and reward is great, by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ O graced one, having conquered the bounds of time and place! Love has conquered space, unforgetting memory has annihilated the limits, and place does not hinder the miracles of the saint.”

Saint Proclus Homily in Hagia Sophia

The public opinion was mobilized and heightened by these homilies and the then emperor, (Emperor Theodosius II) gave the patriarch the permission to return Chrysostom’s relics to Constantinople. On return, they were enshrined in the Church of the Holy Apostles on 28 January 438.

This canonization happened during the pre-congregation period.

St. John Chrysostom Quote

Do not be ashamed to enter again into the Church. Be ashamed when you sin. Do not be ashamed when you repent. Pay attention to what the devil did to you. These are two things: sin and repentance. Sin is a wound; repentance is a medicine. Just as there are for the body wounds and medicines, so for the soul are sins and repentance. However, sin has the shame  and repentance possesses the courage.

St. John Chrysostom Homily 8, On Repentance and Almsgiving

St. John Chrysostom Prayer

Almighty God, who has given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications to you and promised that when two or three are gathered together in your name you will grant their requests: fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of your servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the world to come life everlasting.

St. John Chrysostom Prayer

St. John Chrysostom’s Catholic Church, Bronx

St. John Chrysostom
St. John Chrysostom