St. John Chrysostom

Friends in Christ, today is the Feast of St. John Chrysostom. St. John was born in Antioch in 347 A.D, and really, he was a genius. His father died when he was an infant, leaving his mother to raise him. She gave all of her attention to her son, and gave him the best classical education of the day.
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When he was quite young, he decided to live as a hermit in a cave, studying the Sacred scriptures; but his health failed, and he returned to Antioch. There he prepared for Sacred Orders, and was ordained a priest.
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During the next twelve years, he electrified Antioch with his fiery sermons filled with a knowledge and an eloquence that were astonishing. It was during this period that he received the nickname Chrysostom, meaning, ‘golden mouth,’ because his words seemed to be pure gold.
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He later would become Bishop of Constantinople, the most influential city of that time; seeing all the corruption there, he fasted extensively, never attended lavish dinners or banquets, and prayed for the conversion of the city. John spoke out boldly against the evils of the day and had no patience for immorality and sin.
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His determination to reform the clergy, made many hate him, and he spoke bluntly against the vices of the wealthy. They called him a madman and spread rumors about him, but the ordinary people and citizens there, loved John.
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Now those in power, ultimately sent him into exile, along with the Pope. He was sent 600 miles from Constantinople, across the Black Sea. Worn out and sick, he died at Comana in Pontus. His last words were, “Glory to God in all things.”
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Along with St. Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen, and St. Basil, John Chrysostom forms the group of the four great doctors of the Eastern Church, and they are honored greatly by the Orthodox as well.
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In 1204 his body was brought to St. Peter’s in Rome where it has been highly venerated; but in a gesture of goodwill, it was eventually returned to the Orthodox by Pope John Paul II. His skull, covered in jewels, is kept in Greece, atop the great Mount Athos at the monastery.
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St. John Chrysostom often said: ‘Lord, Thy will be done; not what this fellow or that fellow would have me do, but what you want me to do. ‘If God wants something, he said, then let it be done!

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