Saint John Chrysostom was the Archbishop of Constantinople and Doctor of the Church born in 347 AD in Antioch, Turkey and died on September 14 407 at the age of 58 years in Comana, Pontus, Turkey. We celebrate his feast day on September 13 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop Biography|
|Date of Birth||347 AD|
|Place of Birth||Antioch, Turkey|
|Profession||Archbishop of Constantinople|
|Place of Work||Turkey|
|Date of Death||September 14 407|
|Place of Death||Comana, Pontus, Turkey|
|Feast Day||September 13|
|Patron Saint of||
St John Chrysostom’s Life History
John Chrysostom’s father was a high-ranking military officer and his mother was called Anthusa. John Chrysostom’s father died when he was still a toddler and therefore was raised by his mum.
He began his studies under Libanius, a pagan teacher, and learned rhetoric, Greek language and literature. He, later on, became a lawyer. He was baptized and continued being committed to Christianity and eventually studied theology under Diodore of Tarsus.
John Chrysostom lived a very pious and austere life as a hermit around 375 AD. He practiced some extreme practices like standing for a long time and hardly sleeping that led to severe damage to his kidneys. His poor state of health made him return to Antioch.
Bishop Meletius of Antioch ordained Chrysostom as a deacon in 381 AD. Bishop Meletius was not in communion with Rome like Bishop Paulinus, his rival to the Diocese of Antioch. After Bishop Meletius died, Chrysostom disassociated with the followers of Meletius but did not join Bishop Paulinus.
It was Bishop Flavian, Paulinus successor, who now ordained Chrysostom as a priest. Chrysostom was very eloquent in his speeches in Church and in public especially when preaching and interpreting the passages in the Bible and about good morals. He preached about charity and condemned the abuse of personal property and wealth.
To the chagrin of other people around, Chrysostom preached about giving first to the poor, feeding them, clothing them then bringing what is left to the Church. He also preached that Married men and women were bound together in matrimony and no gender had the chance for infidelity.
His homilies in Antioch were so strong that many pagans converted to Christianity and changed their ways of life. People referred to him as “Golden-mouthed.”
Saint John Chrysostom was, without his knowledge, appointed archbishop of Constantinople in 397 AD. He left Antioch secretly to avoid civil unrest due to his departure.
His tenure as the archbishop of Constantinople made him to be loved and hated in equal measure. Because of his adamant refusal to host large banquets and lavish feasts, he was loved so much by the poor and common people but hated by the wealthy citizens and the clergy.
He instituted reforms in the Church and the clergy were not amused. He instructed any clergy who was out there visiting places to return to their Churches where they were needed most.
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 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 excuses, 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 are insane.
John Chrysostom’s work in Constantinople received its fair share of obstacles and criticism. The patriarch of Alexandria named Theophilus, in his quest to annex Constantinople to his control, began to oppose Chrysostom. Another opposition to Chrysostom came from Aelia Eudoxia, the wife of Roman Emperor Arcadius, who felt that his condemnations of extravagance in feminine dress were aimed at herself.
Theophilus, Aelia Eudoxia and other enemies of Chrysostom organized a synod and made false claims against him and ultimately forcefully removed him from office. His deposition was short-lived because there was a thunderous uproar from the people who were determined to burn the imperial palace. It is also said that there was an earthquake at the time of Chrysostom’s arrest that made Aelia Eudoxia think that God was angry and consequently she asked her husband, the emperor to reinstate Chrysostom.
The relative calm was short-lived because Aelia Eudoxia erected a silver statue of her image near the Cathedral. Pagan ceremonies were performed there and John Chrysostom denounced them. He spoke against Aelia Eudoxia in very harsh terms equating his tribulations with her to the tribulations of St John the Baptist and Herodias.
John Chrysostom was again banished to Abkhazia and this caused violent riots in Constantinople which resulted in the burning down of the cathedral. Pope Innocent I protested John Chrysostom’s banishment but did not succeed to reinstate him. However, Chrysostom continued to fund the Christian monks who assisted in destroying the pagan temples and shrines in the regions of Phoenicia.
After Chrysostom was banished from Constantinople, he died on September 14 407 on his way to Pityus, his place of exile in modern-day Georgia. The place of his death was Comana Pontica in Turkey.
St John Chrysostom Feast Day
We celebrate the feast day of St. John Chrysostom on September 13 every year in the Catholic Church and Anglican Church.
St John Chrysostom is the Patron Saint of
St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church is the Patron Saint of
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
Saint John Chrysostom Quote
If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice
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