St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople
the golden trumpet of Orthodoxy
Commemorated on November 13
”Blessed is one who has found wisdom; The mouth of a just man distils wisdom; the lips of men know graces. The mouth of the wise meditates wisdom;”
The Heavenly Glory of St. John Chrysostom
The life of Adelphius, bishop of Arabessus, and blessed John Chrysostom
We went to visit abba Athanasius in the monastery of our holy father Saba. He told us that he had heard the following story being told by Athenogenus, the bishop of Petra, the son of amma Damiana:
My aunt (avia mea) Joanna had a brother called Adelphius, bishop of Arabessus. She herself was abbess of a monastery of women. This bishop went out one day to visit his sister in her monastery. As he went in to the courtyard (atrium) of the monastery he saw a sister possessed of a demon lying on the pavement. The bishop called out to his sister:
“Doesn’t it worry you that this sister is being troubled and besmirched like this? You surely must know that as abbess you have authority over all your sisters?”
“What can I do against a demon?” she replied
“What do you think you have been doing all these years?” replied the bishop, who then made a prayer and cleansed that sister of the demon.
Athanasius also passed on to us this story just as bishop Adelphius’ venerable sister Joanna had told it.
When the most holy bishop of Constantinople, John Chrysostom, was exiled to Cucusum he came to stay in our house, which was the means of giving us a great trust in God and love for him.
“When the most blessed John died in exile,” my brother Adelphius said, “I was incredibly sad that such a great man, famous throughout the world, a shining light of the Church of God, should die in exile from his throne. So I begged God with many tears to reveal to me his present state, whether he had been numbered among the patriarchs. I prayed for a long time and was carried up into an ecstasy, and I saw a magnificent man holding out his hand to me and leading me into a most glorious and illustrious place where he showed me all the doctors of the church. I looked around everywhere, to see if I could find him whom I sought, my greatly beloved John. But after showing me all of them and identifying each one by name, he led me outside, still holding me by the hand. I followed him sadly, because I had not seen blessed John among the fathers and leaders of the Church. But as I was going out the doorkeeper stopped me.
”What is the matter? Why are you sad?” he said. ”Nobody who ever comes in here goes out sad.”
”The cause of my sadness,” I said, ”is that I did not see my beloved bishop John of Constantinople among all the other doctors.”
“‘Do you mean John chief among penitents?”
”Nobody alive in the flesh can see him. For he is right there by the throne of the Lord.”
“The Spiritual Meadow” by John Moschus, De Vitis Patrum, Book X,Chapter CXXVIII.
http://www.vitae-patrum.org.uk/page151.html – http://desertfathers.webs.com/desertfatherspart3.htm
St. Paul inspiring and guiding St. John Chrysostom .
“St. John Chrysostom had a great love for St. Paul the Apostle. He was renowned for his explanations of the Holy Scriptures. He also interpreted the Epistles of Saint Paul, whom he admired greatly. In order to assure himself that the interpretation of the Epistles were correct, he asked God to offer him a sign.
At that same time, a nobleman had risen against Emperor Arcadius. The Emperor, in turn, confiscated all of the man’s possessions and threatened to execute him. The nobleman became desperate and decided to ask for Saint John’s assistance. When he arrived at the Patriarchate, Saint John could not offer him an audience immediately, but instructed him to return that evening. Saint John told the assistant priest, Proclos (who later succeeded Saint John as Patriarch), to show the nobleman to the Saint’s room when he arrived. That evening, the nobleman returned and Proclos went to inform the Patriarch of his arrival. The door to the room was shut, so Proclos looked through the keyhole. He saw Saint John sitting at his desk writing, with a bald-headed man, slightly bent, looking over his shoulder. Seeing this, Proclos returned to the nobleman and told him that the Patriarch was in conference. Proclos returned to the Patriarch’s room several times during the night, but the man was still talking with John. Thus the nobleman waited the entire night to see Saint John. Morning came and the Patriarch prepared to perform the orthros, realizing neither that the nobleman had waited all night for him, nor that Proclos had seen the vision.
That morning the nobleman returned to the Patriarchate since it was of the utmost importance for him to see the Patriach. Proclos went again to inform John of the nobleman’s arrival, but again saw the same man in the Patriarch;s room. John looked extremely interested in what the man was telling him. Proclos was bewildered on how the man was entering, since everyone had to come by him.
The nobleman returned for the fourth time and Proclos assured him that the Patriarch was alone, for he had made certain that no one passed without his knowledge. When Proclos went to the Patriarch’s room, he was shocked to find the same man still there. He returned to the nobleman and told him to go to his home for it was impossible for him to see John.
That third day, the Saint had remembered the nobleman and inquired about him. Proclos told John that the man had come three times, but each time, the Patriarch was busy talking to the same man. John asked Proclos whom he had seen in the room. Proclos told him that it looked as if it were the Apostle Paul, whose icon sat on the Saint’s desk. Joyously, Saint John realized that this was the sign he had asked for from God concerning his interpretations of the Apostle’s epistles. Thus, Saint John wrote The Fourteen Epistles of the Apostle Paul containing the explanation of the letters. This book is one of the greatest works in the writings of the Orthodox Church.
After conferring with the nobleman, the Patriarch agreed to act as mediator between the nobleman and the Emperor. Within a short time, the differences were settled and the nobleman was again granted his confiscated property”
(For the Glory of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: A History of Eastern Orthodox Saints, by Michael James Fochios, translations from the Great Synaxaristes)
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.One was a virgin, the other a champion of purity. One baptized in the wilderness, the other lowered his nets in cities. One denounced adultery, the other reproved the avaricious. One was cast into prison, the other was exiled. One was beheaded, the other desired beheading for the truth. Many were John Chrysostom’s struggles on earth, many are his crowns in heaven. St. Dimitry of Rostov
St. Paul inspiring and guiding St. John Chrysostom
St. John Chrysostom is right there by the throne of the Lord.
St. John Chrysostom ,Punishment and reward! Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
To be truly rich we must learn to have need of nothing…St. John Chrysostom Archbishop of Constantinople
Glory be to God for all things!St John Chrysostom
Apolytikion of Relics of John Chrysostom in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
The grace of your words illuminated the universe like a shining beacon. It amassed treasures of munificence in the world. It demonstrated the greatness of humility, teaching us by your own words; therefore, O Father John Chrysostom, intercede to Christ the Logos for the salvation of our souls.
At the Aposticha, Prosomia in the Plagal of the First Tone. Hail of Ascetics.
Hail Father of orphans; sure help of the wronged; provision for the poor; righting of sinners; most skilled and revered physician of souls; lofty precision of theology; clarity of the Scriptures of the Spirit; most effective law; straightest rule; contemplation and action, the summits of wisdom. entreat Christ to send down to our souls his great mercy.
Prosomoia of the Praises in Tone 4. You have given as a sign.
You have become a sun with many lights, irradiating the inhabited world by your words, dazzling star, brightly shining lamp, torch that ever summons those who are storm-tossed by the worldly sea to the calm haven of salvation by grace, O Golden-worded, Golden-mouthed, intercessor for our souls.