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St. John Chrysostom
John Chrysostom (c. 347–407) Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. After his death in 407 (or, according to some sources, during his life) he was given the Greek epithet “chrysostomos,” meaning "golden mouthed" in English, and Anglicized to Chrysostom.
- John was ordained as a deacon in 381 by Saint Meletius of Antioch
- In the autumn of 397, John was appointed Archbishop of Constantinople
- John was exiled to Pitiunt in 405 (in modern Georgia) where his tomb is a shrine for pilgrims. He never reached this destination, as he died during the journey. His last words are said to have been “Glory be to God for all things”
John came to be venerated as a Saint soon after his death in 407. His disciple, Saint Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople (434-447), during services in the Church of Hagia Sophia, preached a homily praising his teacher, he said:
O John, your life was filled with sorrow, but your death was glorious. Your grave is blessed and reward is great, by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ O graced one, having conquered the bounds of time and place! Love has conquered space, unforgetting memory has annihilated the limits, and place does not hinder the miracles of the Saint.
John's influence on church teachings is interwoven throughout the current Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Catechism cites him in eighteen sections, particularly his reflections on the purpose of prayer and the meaning of the Lord's prayer:
Consider how [Jesus Christ] teaches us to be humble, by making us see that our virtue does not depend on our work alone but on grace from on high. He commands each of the faithful who prays to do so universally, for the whole world. For he did not say "thy will be done in me or in us", but "on earth", the whole earth, so that error may be banished from it, truth take root in it, all vice be destroyed on it, virtue flourish on it, and earth no longer differ from heaven.
Wikepedia. 9 April 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Chrysostom