John Chrysostom | Patriarch of Constantinople

  • ● Memorial Day Orthodox: January 30, November 13
    ● Name means: God is gracious (from Hebrew)
    ● Patriarch of Constantinople, Father of the Church
    ● Attributes: beehive, with angel

    ● Patron: the worshiper, preacher and speaker; in epilepsy
    ● Born around 345 in Antioch, Turkey
    ● Died on September 14, 407 in Comana Pontica, today ruins in Gümenek near Tokat,
    John Chrysostom came into this world with the fortune that came with being born into a wealthy
    family. Despite his father’s early demise, his mother Anthusa ensured that he received a sound
    education and upbringing in the Christian faith. He studied under the tutelage of the renowned
    Greek rhetorician Libanius and, after completing his education, pursued a career as a lawyer.
    In 367, he was baptized, which marked a significant turning point in his life. Subsequently, John
    enrolled at his hometown’s theological school, where he honed his skills in biblical
    interpretation. He was inspired by the teachings of Flavian and Diodorus of Tarsus, and
    eventually joined their ascetic school. John lived in solitude for six years as a monk and hermit,
    using this time to deepen his knowledge of the teachings of Jesus Christ. He memorized the
    testaments of Christ down to the minutest details.
    As a result of his austere asceticism, John became ill and had to return to his hometown of
    Antioch in 378. He visited the Patriarchal Church of Antioch, where he was eventually ordained
    as a deacon by Meletios in 381 and as a priest in 386 by Meletios’ successor, Bishop Flavian I.
    John’s remarkable talent for speaking was immediately recognized by those around him. He
    preached passionately and truthfully, earning him the moniker Chrysostom (“golden mouth”)
    because of his gift for oratory. He quickly earned a reputation as one of the greatest orators in
    early church history because of his earnestness when preaching.
    John had a profound understanding of the theology of his time and was able to share his
    understanding in a way that was both accessible and insightful. As a pastor, he believed that the
    Christian’s path to perfection lay in modeling their lives after Jesus Christ. For John, Christian
    perfection was a blend of faith and love. The believer showed love for Christ by caring for
    others. Society, in turn, ought to be ordered based on the message of Christ. John’s teachings
    continue to be studied and cherished by Christians worldwide.