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John Chrysostom

7,486 bytes added, 09:26, January 27, 2016
I think a more recognizable icon of St. John should be the first image
[[Image:John Chrysostom Russianenthroned.jpg|right|framethumb|250px|Russian icon of St. John Chrysostomenthroned]]Our father among the saints '''John Chrysostom''' (347-407), [[Archbishop]] of Constantinople, was a notable Christian [[bishop]] and preacher from the fourth and fifth centuries in Syria and Constantinople. He is famous for eloquence in public speaking and , his denunciation of abuse of authority in the Church and in the [[Roman Empire]] of the time, and for a [[Divine Liturgy]] attributed to him. He had notable [[asceticism|ascetic]] sensibilities. After his death he was named '''Chrysostom''', which comes from the Greek ''chrysostomos''Χρυσόστομος, "golden-mouthed." The [[Orthodox Church ]]honors him as a [[saint]] ([[feast day]], [[November 13]]) and counts him among the [[Three Holy Hierarchs]] (feast day, [[January 30]]), together with Saints [[Basil the Great]] and [[Gregory the Theologian]]. He Another feast day associated with him is [[January 27]], which commemorates the event in 437, thirty years after the saint's repose, when his [[relics]] were brought back to Constantinople from the place of his death. John Chrysostom is also recognized by the [[Roman Catholic Church]], which considers him a saint and Doctor of the Church, and by the [[Church of England]], both of whom commemorate him on [[September 13]]. His [[relics]] were stolen from Constantinople by Crusaders crusaders in 1204 (commemorated on [[January 27]]) and brought to Rome, but were returned on [[November 27]], 2004, by [[Pope]] [[John Paul II]].
He is sometimes referred to as "[[John of Antioch]]," but that name more properly refers to the bishop of Antioch in A.D. 429-441, who led a group of moderate Eastern bishops in the [[Nestorianism|Nestorian]] controversy.
== Life ==
He was born in Antioch of noble parents: his father was a high-ranking military officer. His father died soon after his birth and so he was brought up by his Christian motherAnthusa. He was [[baptism|baptized]] in 370 and [[tonsure]]d a [[reader]] (one of the [[minor orders]] of the Church). He began his education under a [[paganism|pagan]] teacher named Libanius, but went on to study [[theology]] under [[Diodore of Tarsus]] (one of the leaders of the later [[Antiochian School]]) while practising extreme asceticism. He was not satisfied, however, and became a [[hermit]] (circa 375) and remained so until poor health forced a return to Antioch.
He was then [[ordination|ordained]] a [[deacon]] in 381 by St. [[Meletius of Antioch]], and was ordained a [[presbyter]] in 386 by Bishop [[Flavian I of Antioch]]. It seems this was the happiest period of his life. Over about twelve years, he gained much popularity for the eloquence of his public speaking. Notable are his insightful expositions of [[Bible]] passages and moral teaching. The most valuable of his works are his ''Homilies'' on various books of the Bible. He particularly emphasized [[alms|almsgiving]]. He was also most concerned with the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor. He spoke out against abuse of wealth and personal property. In many respects, the following he amassed was no surprise. His straightforward understanding of the Scriptures (in contrast to the Alexandrian tendency towards allegorical interpretation) meant that the themes of his talks were eminently social, explaining the Christian's conduct in life.
[[Image:John Chrysostom.jpg|left|thumb|250px|Modern Greek icon]]
One incident that happened during his service in Antioch perhaps illustrates the influence of his [[sermon]]s best. Around the time he arrived in Antioch, the bishop had to intervene with the Emperor St. [[Theodosius I]] on behalf of citizens who had gone on a riotous rampage in which statues of the Emperor and his family were mutilated. During the weeks of [[Great Lent|Lent]] in 397387, John preached 21 sermons in which he entreated the people to see the error of their ways. These apparently had a lasting impression on the people: many pagans reportedly converted to Christianity as a result of them. In the event, Theodosius' vengeance was not as severe as it might have been, merely changing the legal standing of the city.
In 398 late October of 397, he was called (somewhat against his will) to be the [[bishop]] of Constantinople. He deplored the fact that Imperial court protocol would now assign to him access to privileges greater than the highest state officials. During his time as bishop he adamantly refused to host lavish entertainments. This meant he was popular with the common people, but unpopular with the wealthy and the [[clergy]]. In a sermon soon after his arrival he said, "people praise the predecessor to disparage the successor." His reforms of the clergy were also unpopular with these groups. He told visiting regional preachers to return to the churches they were meant to be serving—without any pay out.
His time there was to be far less at ease than in Antioch. [[Theophilus of Alexandria|Theophilus]], the Pope of [[Church of Alexandria|Alexandria]], wanted to bring Constantinople under his sway and opposed John's appointment to Constantinople. Being an opponent of [[Origen]]'s teachings, he accused John of being too partial to the teachings of that master. Theophilus had disciplined four Egyptian [[monk]]s (known as "the Tall Brothers") over their support of Origen's teachings. They fled to and were welcomed by John. He made another enemy in Aelia Eudoxia, the wife of the eastern Emperor Arcadius, who assumed (perhaps with justification) that his denunciations of extravagance in feminine dress were aimed at herself.
[[Image:oqropiri.jpg|right|thumb|Coffin of St. John Chrysostom in Komani, Georgia]]
St. John was fearless when denouncing offences in high places. An alliance was soon formed against him by Eudoxia, Theophilus and other enemies of his. They held a [[Synod of the Oak|synod]] in 403 to charge John, in which the accusation of Origenism was used against him. It resulted in his [[deposition ]] and banishment. He was called back by Arcadius almost immediately, however, for the people of the city were very angry about his departure. There was also a "quaking" in the Imperial bedroom (thought to be either an actual earthquake or perhaps as a stillbirth or miscarriage for the empress) which was seen as a sign of [[God]]'s anger. Peace was shortlived. A silver statue of Eudoxia was erected near the [[cathedral]] of [[Hagia Sophia (Constantinople)|Hagia Sophia]]. John denounced the dedication ceremonies. He spoke against her in harsh terms: "Again [[Herodias]] rages; again she is confounded; again she demands the head of John on a charger" (an allusion to the events surrounding the death of [[John the Forerunner]]). Once again he was banished, this time to Caucasus in Georgia.
The pope in Rome ([[Innocent I of Rome|Innocent I]] at this time) protested at this banishment, but to no avail. John wrote letters which still held great influence in Constantinople. As a result of this, he was further exiled to Pityus (on the eastern edge of the Black Sea). However, he never reached this destination, as he died during the journey. His final words were "Glory be to God for all things!"
== His importance ==
During a time when city clergy were subject to much criticism for their high lifestyle, John was determined to reform his clergy at Constantinople. These efforts were met with resistance and limited success. He was particularly noted as an excellent preacher. As a [[theologian]], he has been and continues to be very important in Eastern Christianity, but has been less important to Western Christianity. He generally rejected the contemporary trend for emphasis on allegory, instead speaking plainly and applying Bible passages and lessons to everyday life. In some ways, he represents a sort of synthesis between the [[hermeneutics|hermeneutic]] methods of the more allegorical [[Alexandrian School]] and the more literal Antiochian School.
His banishments demonstrated that secular powers had strong influence in the eastern Church at this period in history. They also demonstrated the rivalry between Constantinople and Alexandria, both of which wanted to be recognized as the preeminent eastern see. This mutual hostility would eventually lead to much suffering for the Church and the Eastern Empire. Meanwhile in the West, Rome's primacy had been unquestioned from the fourth century onwards. An interesting point to note in the wider development of the [[papacy]] is the fact that Innocent's protests availed nothing, demonstrating the lack of influence the bishops of Rome held in the East at this time.
=== The ''Homilies against the Judaizers'' ===
Chrysostom wrote of the [[Judaism|Jews]] and of Judaizers in eight homilies ''Adversus Judaeos'' (against the Judaizers) [ homilies ''Adversus Judaeos'' (against the Judaizers)].<ref>"This [Adversus Iudaeos] is the Latin translation of the title given to the homilies in PG 48.843. The Benedictine editor, Montfaucon, gives a footnote (reprinted ibid.) which states that six MSS and [Henry] Savile [in his edition (1612) of Chrysostom] have at the head of this homily: "A discourse against the Jews; but it was delivered against those who were Judaizing and keeping the fasts with them [i.e., the Jews]. These quotes " This note is not altogether accurate because Savile, for Hom. 27 of Vol. 6 (which is Disc. I among the Adversus Iudaeos in PG and in this translation), gives (p. 366) the title: "Chrysostom's Discourse Against Those Who Are Judaizing and Observing Their Fasts." In Vol. 8 (col. 798) Savile states that he has emended Hoeschel's edition of this homily with the help of two Oxford MSS, one from the Corpus Christi College and the other from the New College; he must have gotten his title from any or all of these sources. Savile gives all eight of the homilies Adverus Iudaeos (Vol. 6.312-88) but in the order IV-VIII (wich are translations posted entitled Kata Ioudaion, i.e. Adversus Iudaeos), I (with the title given above), III and II (with the title affixed to them in our translation). Because of the titles in both some MSS and editions and because of the arguments which will be set forth in this introduction, we feel justified in calling this work AgainstJudaizing Christians rather than giving it the less irenic and somewhat misleading traditional title Against the Jews." ''John Chrysostom, Discourses against Judaizing Christians'', translated by Paul Halsall from W. Harkins. ''The Fathers of the original GreekChurch''; v. 68 (Washington: other researchers give slightly different translationsCatholic University of America Press, 1979), p. xxxi, footnote 47</ref> At the time he delivered these sermons, Chrysostom was a tonsured reader and had not yet been ordained a priest or bishop.
* "The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the [[fast]]s. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now." (Homily I, I, 5)
* "Are you Jews still disputing the question? Do you not see that you are condemned by the testimony of what [[Christ]] and the [[prophet]]s predicted and which the facts have proved? But why should this surprise me? That is the kind of people you are. From the beginning you have been shameless and obstinate, ready to fight at all times against obvious facts." (Homily V, XII, 1)
Many researchers believe that the The purpose of these attacks was to prevent Christians from joining with Jewish customs, and thus prevent the erosion of Chrysostom's flock. Others characterize Robert L. Wilken contends that applying the modern label of Anti-Semitism onto St. John Chrysostom is anachronistic. He particularly focuses on the rhetorical genre that St. John employed in these homilies, and points out that St. John was using the genre of psogos (or invective): :"The psogos was supposed to present unrelieved denigration of the subject. As one ancient teacher of rhetoric put it, the psogos is "only condemnation" and sets forth only the "bad things about someone" (Aphthonius Rhet. Graeci 2.40).... In psogos, the rhetor used omission to hide the subject's good traits or amplification to exaggerate his worsts features, and the cardinal rule was never to say anything positive about the subject. Even "when good things are done they are proclaimed in the worst light" (Aristides Rhet. Graeci 2.506). In an encomium, one passes over a man's faults in order to praise him, and in a psogos, one passed over his virtues to defame him. Such principles are explicit in the handbooks of the rhetors, but an interesting passage from the church historian Socrates, writing in the mid fifth century, shows that the rules for invective were simply taken for granted by men and women of the late Roman world. In discussing Libanius's [St. John's Pagan instructor in Rhetoric] orations in praise of the emperor Julian [the Apostate], Socrates explains that Libanius magnifies and other Church fathers exaggerates Julian's virtues because he is an "outstanding sophist" (Hist. eccl. 3.23). The point is that one should not expect a fair presentation in a psagos, for that is not its purpose. The psogos is designed to attack someone, says Socrates, and is taught by the sophist in the schools as anti-Semiticone of the rudiments of their skills.... Echoing the same rhetorical background, Augustine said that, in preparing an encomium on the emperor, he intended "that it should include a great many lies," and that the audience would know "how far from the truth they were" (Conf. 6.6)." (p. 112).<ref>''John Chrysostom and the Jews: Rhetoric and Reality in the Late 4th Century'', by Robert L. Wilken (University of California Press: Berkeley, 1983), p. 112. </ref>  Another important point of context that Wilkens highlights is the reign of Julian the Apostate, and the way he used the Jews (and was used by them) to undercut Christianity. Julian had even planned to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, primarily because he believed it would refute Christ's prophesies about the destruction of the Temple. This happened when St. John was a youngman, and so Christians at this time had no reason to believe that they had a firm position in society that could not be overturned in a short period of time. Thus polemics against the Jews were not the polemics of a group with a firm grip on power, but the polemics of a group that had reason to fear what the future might bring.
:"The Roman Empire in the fourth century was not the world of Byzantium or medieval Europe. The institutions of traditional Hellenic culture and society were still very much alive in John Chrysostom's day. The Jews were a vital and visible presence in Antioch and elsewhere in the Roman Empire, and they continued to be a formidable rival to the Christians. Judaizing Christians were widespread. Christianity was still in the process of establishing its place within the society and was undermined by internal strife and apathetic adherents. Without an appreciation of this setting, we cannot understand why John preached the homilies and why he responds to the Judaizers with such passion and fervor. The medieval image of the Jew should not be imposed on antiquity. Every act of historical understanding is an act of empathy. When I began to study John Chrysostom's writings on the Jews, I was inclined to judge what he said in light of the unhappy history of Jewish-Christian relations and the sad events in Jewish history in modern times. As much as I feel a deep sense of moral responsibility for the attitudes and actions of Christians toward the Jews, I am no longer ready to project these later attitudes unto the events of the fourth century. No matter how outraged Christians feel over the Christian record of dealing with the Jews, we have no license to judge the distant past on the basis of our present perceptions of events of more recent times' <ref>''John Chrysostom and the Jews: Rhetoric and Reality in the Late 4th Century'', by Robert L. Wilken (University of California Press: Berkeley, 1983), pp. 162-163.</ref>  See also: [ Was Saint John Chrysostom Anti-Semitic?]
== Work on liturgy ==
[[Image:John Chrysostom enthronedRussian.jpg|right|thumb|250pxframe|Russian icon of St. John enthronedChrysostom]]Two of his writings deserve special mention. He harmonized the liturgical life of the Church by revising the [[prayer]]s and [[rubrics ]] of the [[Divine Liturgy]], or celebration of the Holy [[Eucharist]]. To this day, the [[Orthodox Church]] typically celebrates the Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom, together with [[Roman Catholic Church|Roman Catholic]] churches that are in the Eastern or Byzantine rites (i.e., [[Uniate]]s). These same churches also read his [[Paschal Homily]] at every [[Pascha]], the greatest feast of the [[Church]] year.
== Modern influence ==Whatever the original intent of Chrysostom, his writings have been circulated by many groups in an attempt to foster [[anti-Semitism]] or opposition to Christianity. One of the groups to use him thus were the Nazis during World War II. They used St. John's writings to try to convince Christians in Germany and Austria that the Jews deserved to be exterminated. AdditionallyThus, Orthodox Christians throughout the world participate in St. John's [[Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom|Divine Liturgy]] nearly every week and hear his famous Paschal Homily at every Pascha.
:Grace shining forth from your lips like a beacon has enlightened the universe.
:It has shown to the world the riches of riches poverty;
:it has revealed to us the heights of humility.
:Teaching us by your words, O Father John Chrysostom,
:All-blest and venerable John Chrysostom,
:we worthily praise you, for you are our teacher, revealing things divine!
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{{succession |
before=[[Nectarius of Constantinople|Nectarius]]|
title=[[List of Patriarchs of Constantinople|Archbishop of Constantinople]]|
years=398&ndash;404 |
after=[[Arsacius of Tarsus]]}}
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<div class="references-small">
<references />
*Some material taken from [[w:John Chrysostom|''John Chrysostom'' at Wikipedia]] ==Modern Bibliography==* ''On Wealth and Poverty'' (SVS Press, 1999) (ISBN 088141039X)* ''On Marriage and Family Life'' (SVS Press, 1986) (ISBN 0913836869)* Robert Van de Weyer, ''On Living Simply: The Golden Voice of John Chrysostom'' (Triumph Books, 1997) (ISBN 0764800566)* Holy Apostles Convent, ''The Lives of the Three Great Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom'' (Holy Apostles Convent Pubns, 2001) (ISBN 0944359116)
== External links ==
*[ The Saint John Chrysostom Webpage]
*[ Works about and by John Chrysostom] from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library
*[ Quotes from St. John Chrysostom] - [ Orthodox Church Quotes] website*[ John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople] ([[GOARCH]])*[ Removal of the Relics of John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople] (GOARCH)
*[ St. John Chrysostom the Archbishop of Constantinople] ([[OCA]])
*[ Repose of St John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople] (OCA)
*[ Translation of the relics of St John Chrysostom the Archbishop of Constantinople] (OCA)
*[ November 13, 2004 : The Martyrdom of Saint John Chrysostom] ([[Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America|Antiochian]])
*[ A few beautiful icons of St. John Chrysostom]
*[ John I Chrysostom] - [[Church of Constantinople]] website
*Abbaye Saint-Benoît de Port-Valais. [ SAINT JEAN CHRYSOSTOME - OEUVRES COMPLÈTES].
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