St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople
Reposed: 14 September 407, Comana in Pontus
God bestowed upon Saint John the gift of teaching and the grace of the Holy Spirit, which worked in him even as it had in the apostles. This was revealed to one of the monks living in that monastery, an ascetic named Hesychius. Venerable in years and perfect in every virtue, this Hesychius was also clairvoyant. One night, while keeping vigil and praying, he beheld in a vision two men of a magnificent appearance, clad in white garments and shining like the sun, who came down from heaven and entered the cell of the blessed John as he stood at prayer. One of them held a scroll covered with writing, and the other held keys. When John saw them, he was afraid and hastened to fall down to the ground before them. But they took him by the hands, and raising him up, said, “Take heart and have no fear.”
John asked them, “Who are you, my lords?”
They said to him, “Do not fear, 0 man of lofty desires, 0 new Daniel, in whom the Holy Spirit has deigned to make His abode, on account of your purity of heart. We have been sent to you by the great Teacher, our Saviour Jesus Christ.”
The first of the two men stretched forth his hand and gave John the scroll. As he did this he said, “Take this scroll from my hand, for I am John, who rested on the Lord’s breast at the Mystical Supper and received from Him divine revelations. The Lord shall also bestow upon you the depths of wisdom, enabling you to nourish the people with the imperishable food of the teaching of Christ. Your lips shall stop the mouths of Jews and heretics who utter blasphemies against God.”
Then the second man stretched forth his hand and gave John the keys, saying, “I am Peter, and the keys to the kingdom have been entrusted unto me. The Lord wishes to grant you the keys of the holy churches as well, so that whomsoever you shall bind may be bound and whomsoever you shall loose may be loosed.”
The blessed John again prostrated himself before the two men, and asked, “Who am I to dare to take upon myself such great and fearful tasks? I am a sinner and worse than all other men.”
But the holy apostles took the saint by the right hand, and raising him up, said, “Stand firmly, take courage, and be strong. Do what has been commanded you, and do not conceal the gift that our Lord Jesus Christ has bestowed on you. Enlighten His people and confirm them in the faith, for He shed His blood for their sake so that they might be freed from the deception of the enemy. Teach the word of God without hesitation, remembering the Lord’s saying: Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Do not be timid: Christ our God is pleased to bring many souls to sanctification and enlightenment through you. Numerous woes will befall you for righteousness’ sake, but you must remain as firm as adamant, for thus you shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
So saying, the apostles made the sign of the Cross over John, gave him a kiss in the Lord, and departed. Such of the brethren as were tried in the virtues the blessed Hesychius told of his vision, and they were amazed and glorified God, Who has many hidden servants, unbeknown to all. But Hesychius forbade them to tell the other monks, lest John learn of the vision and depart from them, for he did not wish that they be deprived of the presence of God’s great favorite.
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
Troparion St. John Chrysostom — 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!
Prosomoia of the Praises in Tone 4. You have given as a sign.
Let the fiery pillar, the river that flows with waters of doctrines, the heavenly mind of theology, the mouth of solid gold, guarantor for sinners, inspired herald of repentance, brightly shining beacon, heavenly mortal, the blessed Chrysostom be praise today.