Saint Of The Day: St John Chrysostom

Saint Of The Day: St John Chrysostom

Feast Day :Sept 13th

St John Chrysostom was the son of a pagan father and a Greek mother. At 23, his friend St Basil, and St Meletius, Bishop of his native Antioch, turned him away from Greek classical studies to the study of Scripture. Two years later he was baptized, ordained a “lector” and thereafter lived for several years as an anchorite in a cave.

Ordained priest in 386, John became the very “eyes, ears and hands of his Bishop”, and turned more and more to the writing of treatises and books, his greatest asset being the spiritually deep content of his preaching, which came to influence life throughout the East, earning him, in the process, the Greek suffix, Chrysostom, meaning “golden-mouthed”.

After he had spent 12 years in priestly ministry, John was consecrated Bishop of the great Eastern metropolis of Constantinople. He immediately began to correct abuses and to initiate much needed ecclesiastical reform. He reduced radically the expenses of his Episcopal household even as he, himself, continued to live in utter simplicity, purging the clergy of unworthy elements and tightening monastic discipline.

In the 5th year of his episcopate, he was deposed and sent into exile. But the temper of the people ensured that he was recalled almost immediately. 

As soon as things had calmed down, however, and after two failed attempts on his life, John was again banished to Armenia where he passed away.

Reflection: “There is nothing which so much aids to keep the soul in tranquillity and calm as meekness and modesty” (St John Chrysostom).

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