By Bishop Grigorios of Mesaoria
Today, on November 13, our Church commemorates Saint Ioannis Chrysostomos, Archbishop of Constantinople. Although he fell asleep in the Lord on September 14, Saint John’s celebration was transferred to this day because of the Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross.
Saint Ioannis Chrysostomos is one of the Three Holy Hierarchs, a great teacher and patron saint of Greek education. He was born in 347 AD in Antioch to pious Christians, Secundus and Anthusa. As he was intelligent, he was distinguished in science. Saint Ioannis studied Greek language and literature under the renowned Greek teacher of rhetoric, Libanius. He was particularly interested in the study of the Holy Scriptures and went on to study theology. After completing his studies, he pursued a monastic life.
His zealous drive led him to become a hermit in the desert. When he returned to Antioch, he was tonsured as a Reader, that is, interpreter of the Bible, and later he was ordained as a Deacon by Patriarch Meletius. Six years later, he was enthroned Archbishop of Constantinople.
Saint Ioannis Chrysostomos, “as a treasure trove of virtues”, was an interpreter of the Bible, especially the Holy Gospel and the Epistles of Paul. According to the tradition of the Church, Saint Ioannis Chrysostomos wrote the Divine Liturgy, which is the most celebrated divine liturgy in the Byzantine Rite.
His conflict with the ruthless Roman Empress Eudoxia made him go into exile several times. In the midst of adversity and exile, he fell asleep in the Lord on his way to Comana Pontica on 14 September 407.
Saint Ioannis Chrysostomos is a great and leading figure.