St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople
Commemorated on November 13
”Oh, hierarch whose memory is like a fragrant breeze! Oh, namesake of grace, whose deeds were truly divine! Oh, golden mouth declaring the word of God! Oh, tongue which spoke of mysteries loftier than the heavens! Oh, teacher proclaiming the gospel more loudly than thunder! Verily like unto John the Forerunner, the preacher of repentance, was this John.One was a herald, the other a trumpet. One was unshakeable, the other invincible.”
by St. Demetrius of Rostov
The saint began his final journey…The blessed John was forced to endure much torment at the hands of the soldiers on the way to imprisonment. They had received orders from the Empress to afflict him in every manner possible during the journey so that he would perish more quickly. ..Whenever the saint passed through cities where the bishops were his enemies and the friends of Theophilus, he was subjected to all manner of offense.
John was taken to Cucusus in Arabessus, where Adelphius, the Bishop of the city, received him kindly into his own home; for that prelate had seen a vision in which God commanded him to offer the saint hospitality. During his stay in Cucusus, John by his teaching converted many unbelieving idolators to Christ. Then an edict arrived from the Empress, ordering that John be sent still further away, to a barren place called Pityus on the shores of the Black Sea, inhabited by unruly barbarians. On the journey the soldiers subjected him to the same harassment as before, hoping to bring about his death more quickly…
A few days before his repose, while the saint was standing at prayer by night, according to his custom, the holy Apostles Peter and John, who had appeared to him before, when he was living in the monastery near Antioch, came to him and said, “Rejoice, good pastor of the rational flock of Christ, 0 great passion-bearer! We have been sent to you by our common Master, Jesus Christ, to help and comfort you amid the sorrows and tribulations you suffer for the sake of your purity of conscience. Like John the Baptist, you have upbraided rulers who have fallen into sin, boldly reproving them for transgressing the law of God. Therefore, be strong and of good cheer, for a rich reward has been prepared for you in the kingdom of heaven. We proclaim to you glad tidings of great joy: within a few days you shall depart unto the Lord your God and shall enjoy everlasting rest with us in the kingdom of heaven. Take courage, then, because you have prevailed over your enemies and put to shame those who hate you, and have triumphed over your adversary, the devil. Eudoxia will be riddled with worms and call upon you for help, but she will not find it. She will die amid terrible sufferings, for the illness that will strike her will be sent as God’s punishment and cannot be healed.”
After this the apostles gave John something to eat and said, “Take this; from this time forth you shall require no other food. This will suffice until you surrender your soul into God’s hands.”
John took what they offered him, ate it, and was filed with joy. Then the apostles departed.
After several days of travel, the exiles reached Comana. Near the city there was a church dedicated to the holy hieromartyr Basiliscus*, the Bishop of Comana..They passed the night at this church. The following day was the feast of the Elevation of the Precious Cross, and that night, the holy martyr Basiliscus appeared to the blessed John and said, “Take heart, brother John; tomorrow we shall be together!”
The holy martyr also appeared to one of the priests of his church and said, “Prepare a place for our brother John, for he is coming unto us!”..
The saint entered the church, asked for ecclesiastical vestments of a bright color, and changed all his clothing. He gave his garments to those who had been with him on ship, served the Divine Liturgy in the church, and communed of the most pure and life-giving Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ. After praying for a long time, he gave a final kiss to those present, lay down, and spoke the words he was accustomed to use on every occasion: “Glory be to God for all things!” Then he signed himself with the Cross and uttered his final word: “Amen.”
With this, John surrendered his soul into God’s hands. He reposed on the very day of the Elevation of the Precious Cross, as was fitting, since he bore his cross throughout the course of his whole life, crucified with Christ and crucifying himself to the world. He was laid to rest in the church where he died, together with the holy martyr Basiliscus. Thus the prophecy of Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus was fulfilled, for he said to the blessed John, “You shall not reach the place to which they will exile you.” Indeed, it was to Pityus that they were taking John, but he reposed while still in Comana. Thus was the luminary of the Church extinguished; thus did the lips of gold fall silent; thus did the good ascetic and sufferer complete his struggles and finish his course.
The Life of Our Father Among the Saints, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople ,From The Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints, Volume 3: November, Compiled by St. Demetrius of Rostov
Source-Chrysostompress.org – http://chrysostom1600.org/index.php/life/
*St Basiliscus (May 22), the Bishop of Comana, who had suffered for Christ in Nicomedia together with the presbyter Lucian of Antioch during the reign of the impious Emperor Maximian.He was a nephew of the Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit (February 17).
Reposed: 14 September 407, Comana in Pontus
Plagal of the First Tone. Hail of Ascetics.
Hail instrument of the Church, lovely and gleaming like gold; the tongue which with love for mankind traced out for us the many-sided ways of repentance; mind formed of gold; golden-mouthed swallow; dove, whose pinions, as the Psalmist says, are shining like gold with the golden pallor of virtues; stream like gold, pouring out waters; godlike mouth and entrusted with love for mankind: entreat Christ to send down to our souls his great mercy.
Doxastikon of the Aposticha in the Plagal of the Second Tone.
You were revealed as golden-voiced trumpet, O Golden Mouthed of golden words, making the hearts of the faithful golden by your teachings worked in gold. For the sound of your doctrines went out, Venerable Father, and enlightened the ends of all the world.