Sunday, January 27, 2008

John Chrysostom, Preacher (January 27)

Given the added name of Chrysostom, which means "golden-mouthed" in Greek, Saint John was a dominant force in the fourth-century Christian church. Born in Antioch around the year 347, John was instructed in the Christian faith by his pious mother, Anthusa. After serving in a number of Christian offices, including acolyte and lector, John was ordained a presbyter and given preaching responsibilities. His simple but direct messages found an audience well beyond his home town. In 398 John Chrysostom was made patriarch of Constantinople. His determination to reform the church, court and city there brought him into conflict with established authorities. Eventually he was exiled from his adopted city. Although removed from his parishes and people, he continued writing and preaching until the time of his death in 407. It is reported that his final words were "Glory be to God for all things. Amen." [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

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