St. John Chrysostom (347 – 407) was born in Antioch and spent his life there until he was elected Patriarch of Constantinople. He received a broad education by non-Christian masters in a city teaming with many diverse religious groups.
John Chrysostom was one of the most eloquent speakers and prodigious writers of his time and has had few equals throughout the centuries of Christianity. He was called”Chrysostomos, or “the golden-mouth” because of his eloquence
Points to Remember and Ponder:
- After Baptism at age 29 he left a promising career as a lawyer and became a monk.
- Throughout his life he spoke truth to power, calling everyone to a more faithful Christian life. He ran afoul of the powerful and wealthy in Antioch and Constantinople and was harrassed and exiled for his efforts by civil and church authorities.
- St. John Chrysostom’s preaching was known for its practical application of scripture to everyday life. Earlier approaches had looked at scripture as more of an allegory pointing to a higher truth. He took it more at face value.
- One of his greatest achievements was the ordering of the liturgy, its music and cycle of readings and prayers. To this day the liturgy of the Orthodox and eastern rite Catholic churches is known as the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and has not been changed significantly.
- St. John Chrysostom worked very hard to differentiate Christians from Jews in Antioch since there was still a very fluid movement between the groups. Some think that this may have set a definite anti-semitic tone in emerging Christianity.
- St. John Chrysostom is regarded as a towering figure in the Eastern and Western branches of the Church. His feast day is September 13 in the West and November 13 in the East. The three major leaders and teachers of the Eastern church: Sts. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, and St. Gregory the Theologian share a common feast of the Three Holy Hierarchs on January 30.
For more information see:
John Chrysostom – Orthodox website
John Chrysostom – Wikipedia