Wednesday, September 13, 2006
St. John Chrysostom

Double (1954 Calendar): January 27
Memorial (1969 Calendar): September 13

St. John Chrysostom (c. 347 - 407), called the Greatest of the Greek Fathers and the Golden-Mouth Saint, is not only venerated in Roman Catholicism but also in the Orthodox churches.

In c. 347 AD, St. John Chrysostom was born in Antioch. St. John's father died soon after John's birth, so St. John was raised by his pious mother, Anthusa. St. John became a monk as well as a priest and a preacher for a dozen years in Syria. He developed a stomach ailment there that remained with him for the rest of his life. At first, though, as a monk, he lived as a hermit studying under Hesychius.

It was because of his sermons that he earned the title "Chrysostom" meaning "golden mouth". St. John was made bishop of Constantinople in 398 AD. As bishop, he criticized the rich for not sharing their wealth, fought to reform the clergy, prevented the sale of ecclesiastical offices, called for fidelity in marriage, and encouraged practices of justice and charity. Because of his work to force the rich to help the poor, he was exiled from his diocese twice. He was banished to Pythius and died on the way in 407 AD. As he was traveling to Pythius, exhausted and dying, his final words were "Glory to God for all things."

He is a Doctor of the Church. The body of St. John Chrysostom is in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He is also the patron saint of Constantinople, epilepsy, orators, and preachers.

His Writings To Read Today:

O God, Who didst give blessed John to Thy people as a minister of eternal salvation: grant, we bessech Thee, that we, who have had him for our teacher on earth, may deserve to have him for our advocate in heaven. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

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