Saint John Chrysostom Archbishop of Constantinople
celebrated on 13 November
”Blessed is one who has found wisdom;”
He completely devoted his mind to the understanding of the divine Scriptures, and especially loved the epistles of the holy Apostle Paul, whose icon he kept in his cell. Once, while writing an exegesis on one of the epistles of Paul, Saint John thought to himself, “Who knows whether what I am writing is pleasing to God or not? Have I understood the power of this portion of the sacred Scriptures?” He began to pray God to reveal to him the truth of the matter, and soon the Lord hearkened unto His servant, granting him the following sign. One night, John was alone in his cell, writing a commentary on the Scriptures by candlelight, Proclus, his attendant, came to the door to tell the saint the request of someone in need, but before knocking, he looked through the keyhole to see whether the Patriarch was occupied. He saw that Saint John was sitting and writing and that an elder of most venerable appearance stood behind him, bent down toward the ear of the Patriarch and speaking softly to him. The man entirely resembled Saint Paul as he was depicted upon the icon which stood against the wall. Proclus was amazed, for he did not know who was speaking with the Patriarch, nor could he understand how the elder had entered the cell, since the door was locked. He waited for the man to depart, and as soon as the hour for Matins drew near, the elder disappeared. Proclus saw this for three nights in succession, and finally dared to ask the Patriarch, “Master, who is it that speaks into your ear at night?”
“No one has been with me,” answered John. Then Proclus told him how he had seen through the keyhole an old man of venerable appearance, whispering into his ear as he wrote. Proclus also described the man’s face and clothing, and John marvelled greatly. Then Proclus glanced at the image of Saint Paul and exclaimed, “The man whom I saw resembled in every way the saint depicted upon this icon!”
John then understood that it was the holy Apostle Paul whom Proclus had seen and that his work was pleasing to the Lord. Falling to the ground, he gave thanks to God, praying with tears in his eyes for a long time. After this he devoted himself to the writing of sacred books with still greater zeal. These works he left to the Church of Christ as a precious treasure
St. John’s ear in which St. Paul spoke to him is still incorrupt to this day, and is visible on his Sacred Head, treasured by Vatopaidi Monastery on Mount Athos
Apolytikion. Tone 8. Model Melody.
The grace which shone from your mouth like a torch of flame enlightened the whole earth; it laid up for the world the treasures of freedom from avarice; it showed us the height of humility. But as you train us by your words, Father John Chrysostom, intercede with Christ God, the Word, that our souls may be saved.