John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople
Saint John Chrysostom is one of the Three Hierarchs, born in Antioch and fatherless from a young age. His mother, Saint Anthousa, saw to the raising of her son in a pious manner. Saint John studied under the finest philosophers and rhetoricians, but found no joy in these vain pursuits, and thus turned to the study of the Holy Scriptures. After the death of his mother, Saint John pursued monasticism, which he called the “true philosophy”. Having been elected as a candidate for bishop, the holy one withdrew to the wilderness to avoid the episcopal rank out of humility. In the wilderness, Saint John wrote many great works on pastoral theology and against heresy. He eventually had to return to Antioch because of his ill health, and was then ordained deacon, where he wrote many more works. Some years later, Saint John was ordained to the priesthood where he gave splendid sermons that moved all. Thus, he was given the epithet “Golden-Mouthed” (i.e. Chrysostom). He soon undertook the task of composing exegetical commentaries on books of the Holy Bible, especially on Genesis and the Epistles of the Apostle Paul. As well as this, Saint John provided food and provisions to over 3,000 virgins and widows, as well as the homeless and the sick. The fame of the holy one grew and with the death of the Archbishop of Constantinople, Saint John was elevated to this See. In this position, he perfected his role in the priesthood while also spreading the Christian faith with zeal to many countries, including the Slavs, Goths, Asia Minor, Persia, and many other places. Because of his intense zeal, much jealousy arose for the saint, even leading to hatred. He was deposed of his See and exiled three times. Each time, he was brought back and re-elevated to his position. On his last journey to exile, Saint John fell sick and never arrived. Just before he died, Saint Basiliscus appeared to him saying, “Despair not, brother John! Tomorrow, we shall be together”. Having received Holy Communion, the Hierarch reposed in the Lord on September 14, 407 with the words, “Glory to God for all things!”. Because of the great feast day of the Elevation of the Holy Cross, the celebration of Saint John’s memory was transferred to this day. He is also celebrated on January 27, the translation of his holy relics, and January 30, together with the two other Hierarchs, Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian.
Ἦχος πλ. δ’.
Ἡ τοῦ στόματός σου καθάπερ πυρσός ἐκλάμψασα χάρις, τὴν οἰκουμένην ἐφώτισεν, ἀφιλαργυρίας τῷ κόσμῳ θησαυροὺς ἐναπέθετο, τὸ ὕψος ἡμῖν τῆς ταπεινοφροσύνης ὑπέδειξεν. Ἀλλὰ σοῖς λόγοις παιδεύων, Πάτερ, Ἰωάννη Χρυσόστομε, πρέσβευε τῷ Λόγῳ Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ, σωθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.
Ἦχος πλ. δ’. Τὴν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν.
Ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν ἐδέξω τὴν θείαν χάριν, καὶ διὰ τῶν σῶν χειλέων, πάντας διδάσκεις, προσκυνεῖν ἐν Τριάδι τὸν ἕνα Θεόν, Ἰωάννη Χρυσόστομε, παμμακάριστε Ὅσιε, ἐπαξίως εὐφημοῦμέν σε· ὑπάρχεις γὰρ καθηγητής, ὡς τὰ θεῖα σαφῶν.
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!
Having received divine grace from heaven, / with your mouth you teach all men to worship one God in Trinity. / All-blest and venerable John Chrysostom, we worthily praise you, / for you are our teacher, revealing things divine!