Commemorated on November 13
Saint John, our great and noble saint, was born in Antioch in the year 354. His father, Secundus, was an imperial commander and his mother’s name was Anthusa. Studying Greek philosophy, John became disgusted with Hellenic paganism and adopted the Christian Faith as the one and all-embracing truth. Meletius, Patrarch of Antioch, baptized John, and his parents also subsequently received baptism.
Following his parent’s repose, John was tonsured a monk and lived a strict life of asceticism. He then wrote a book , On the Priesthood, after which the Holy Apostles John and Peter appeared to him, and prophesied that he would have a life of great service, great grace and great suffering.
When he was to be ordained a priest, and an Angel of God appeared to simultaneously to John and to Patriarcdh Flavian (Meletius’ successor). While the patriarch was ordaining John, a shining white dove was seen hovering over John’s head. Glorified for his wisdom, asceticism and power of words, John was chosen as Patriarch of Constantinople at the behest of Emperor Arcadius.
As Patriarch, he governed the Church with unequalled zeal and wisdom. He sent missionaries to the pagan Celts and Scythians and eradicated simony in the Church, which was the practice of buying or selling something spiritual or a position within the Church. He deposed many bishops guilty of this vice.
He extended the charitable works of the Church and wrote a special order of the Divine Liturgy. Saint John shamed the heretics, denounced Empress Eudoxia, interpreted Holy Scripture with his golden mind and tongue and bequeathed the Church many precious books of his homilies.
The people glorified him, the envious loathed him and the Empress out of spite, on two occasions, sent him into exile. John spent three years in exile, and reposed as an exile. He gave his soul to the Lord on the Feast of the Elevation of the Precious and Live-giving Cross, on September 14, 407 AD, in the town of Comana in Georgia.
Before his repose, the Holy Apostles John and Peter appeared to him again, as did the Holy martyr Basilisks (May 22) in whose church he received Communion for the last time. His words were, “Glory be unto God for all things, ” and with that, the soul of the golden-mouthed patriarch was taken into Paradise. Saint John Chrysostom’s head rests at the Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos and his body is at the Vatican in Rome.
Troparion & Kontakion
Troparion — Tone 8
Grace shining forth from your lips like a beacon has enlightened the universe. / It has shown to the world the riches of poverty; / it has revealed to us the heights of humility. / Teaching us by your words, O Father John Chrysostom, / intercede before the Word, Christ our God, to save our souls!
Kontakion — Tone 6
Having received divine grace from heaven, / with your mouth you teach all men to worship one God in Trinity. / All-blest and venerable John Chrysostom, we worthily praise you, / for you are our teacher, revealing things divine!