Monday, January 27, 2014

John Chryostom (347 - 407)

John Chryostom was raised by his very pius widowed mother after the death of his father. He was well educated and studied rhetoric under Libanius, one of the most famous orators of the day. John was a monk, preacher and priest in Syria for more than twelve years. early on he developed a stomach ailment that troubled him the rest of his life.

He was famous for his eloquence in public speaking and the denunciation of the abuse of authority in the both the Church and the Roman Empire. His sermons were always precise,  and delivered with clarity. Sometimes  he went on for hours. He reluctantly became bishop of Constantinople in 398, a move that involved him in imperial politics.

He was critical of the rich for not sharing their wealth. Fought to reform the clergy. Prevented the sale of ecclesiastical offices. He called for fidelity in marriage, and encouraged the practice of justice and charity.

His pointed preaching eventually caused nobles and bishops to work to remove him from his diocese. He was exiled twice and  eventually banished to Pythius, dieing  on the way.

He is most noted as the Archbishop and Patriarch of Constantinople. He revised the Greek Liturgy. After his death he was named Chrysostom, which comes from the Greek Χρυσόστομος, "golden-mouthed.

His writings deserve special mention. He harmonized the liturgical life of the Church by revising the prayers and rubrics of the Divine Liturgy. To this day, the Orthodox Church typically celebrates the Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom. This same community also read his Paschal Homily at Easter.

The Orthodox Church counts him among the Three Holy Hierarchs together with Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian.

The western church commemorates John Chryostom on  September the. 13th, and the eastern church January 27th.

revised from an earlier living water article

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