This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 13 -- Feast of Saint John Chrysostom

 Golden-throated Doctor of the Church

A couple months ago, on the feast of Saint Pulcheria, some reference was made to the exile of John Chrysostom. John actually winds up having a much bigger place in the kennel of saints than Pulcheria, at least if you take the most objective, valid, and reliable measure available (i.e. length of wikipedia entry).

John was the most gifted preacher of the Eastern Roman Empire in the fourth century, though of course prior to 11/19/1863, greatness and brevity were mutually exclusive. (Think about it before you go searching -- you can figure it out.)  John's homilies, which probably numbered in the thousands and of which hundreds still exist, ran as long as four hours. Audiences wrote down what he said and hurried to reproduce and circulate the texts, giving John tremendous influence over the still-evolving orthodoxy.

John believed in charity over luxury. The Emperor and Empress believed that rank had its privileges, including (but not limited to) good food, good wine, fancy clothes, and lots of entertainment. The common folk loved him, but Empress Eudoxia, being a big Beastie Boys fan, knew that you gotta fight... for your right... to parrrr-tay! and so she got him exiled.

Eudoxia's ascetic daughter, the aforementioned Pulcheria, brought John's relics (bones) back to Constantinople, further endearing herself to the faithful.

John gets four feast days, including January 30: the Synaxis of the Three Hierarchs (with Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian), so the picture above shows the three of them. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that's John in the middle.

NB.  Last year, I erroneously posted Saint Aigulf on September 13.  This year, I correctly posted Aigulf on his correct feast (September 3) and filled 9/13/2011 with Saint Amatus.

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