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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor

Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor
St. John Chrysostom
This John was born at Antioch, and in manhood developed such a gift of eloquence that he came to be called Chrysostom, that is, Golden-mouth. He became a monk, and set about to subdue his quick temper, and other passions, none of which he found so difficult to conquer as vainglory. He was made Archbishop of Constantinople against his will in 398, and undertook the reform of that vast diocese, recalling Christians to their first fervour, founding hospitals for the sick and poor, and sending missionaries to the Goths, and even settling the troubles of the Church of Ephesus. The principal liturgy of the Eastern Church is named for him because of the contributions which he made to it.
His great Christian learning and zeal earned him many enemies, one of whom was the Empress Eudoxia, who sent him into exile. But the people so much rebelled at his that he was recalled. Whereat he ceased not to rebuke the laxity of manners amongst high and low, which so annoyed a faction of bishops that these same procured of the Emperor Arcadius to have him exiled to Armenia, and then driven thither and yon. During which time it passeth belief how much he suffered, and how many he won to Christ. Thus in his old age, from the hardships of his forced journeys, he died in Pontus, on September 14th in 407.
But in 434, the then Emperor Theodosius and his sister Pulcheria, children of Arcadius and Eudoxia, caused the body of the Saint to be brought from Pontus to Constantinople, and on January 27th laid it with magnificent honours in a tomb, beside the which they prayed for the forgiveness of their father and mother. His relicks were later translated to the Vatican Basilica at Rome. Saint Chrysostom is esteemed as one of the first four Eastern Doctors of the Church, of whom he was by far the most prolific preacher, and his writings are one of the treasures of Christendom.
O Lord, who didst vouchsafe to illumine thy Church with the wondrous righteousness and doctrine of thy blessed Confessor and Bishop Saint Chrysostom: grant, we beseech thee, that the bounty of thy heavenly grace may evermore increase and multiply the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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