The Pontiff St. John the Chrysostom, is one of the most prominent and gracious Fathers of the Universal Church. He was born in Antioch, in 347 AD. He studied in the Theological School of Antioch and advanced his skills in rhetoric art in the School of Libanios. Since a young age, he led an ascetic life. In 381 AD he was ordained as a Deacon by Meletios of Antioch and in 386 AD and was ordained as a priest by Flavianos. Thanks to his brilliant and eloquent speeches and sermons he has been give the title “Chrysostom”.
In 398 AD he was elected the Patriarch of Constantinople, against his will, and zealously initiated renovation and reconstruction works of the capital city. The people lived far from a Christian way of life, full of conflicts and disputes. Amorality and religious indifferences were dominant among the people, the court and the clergy. St. John the Chrysostom condemned and criticised all forms and manifestations of amorality and as a result, he raised the Queen Eudoxia’s anger. The Patriarch Theophilos of Alexandria also, who wished to become the Patriarch of Constantinople, stood against St. John the Chrysostom.
Based on groundless slander and false statements by the ecclesiastical council held in 403 AD, an order was issued to exile the saint. However, during the night of the exile, a terrible earthquake and fire occurred which made the Queen to recall the Patriarch back to his residence.
St. John the Chrysostom continued to criticise the wrong and immoral way of life of the court. Ignoring the people’s sympathy towards the Patriarch and the protection of the Western Church, the King Arkadios and the Queen Eudoxia again issued an order to exile the saint. St John was exiled to Pontos and was martyred in the town of Komana. His last words were: “Glory to You, God, glory to You, glory to You for everything.” His remains were buried in the Church of St. Apostles, of Constantinople, in 438 AD.
St. John the Chrysostom is the author of many interpretations, speeches, odes, epistles and letters, which have has positive influences on the history of the Christian mind. His works have been translated into Armenian during his lifetime.