Bishop and Doctor of the Church (ca. 347-407)
+ John was born in Antioch but left the city while still a young man to live as a hermit in the desert. Due to poor health, he returned the city and was ordained a priest. He became known as a gifted preacher.
+ Consecrated archbishop of Constantinople, he continued preaching, setting high moral standards in a city that was highly politicized and dominated by the wealthy.
+ On two separate occasions John was forced into exile by the imperial court and the jealousy of his enemies. He died in exile in 408. After his death, his body was returned to Constantinople in a solemn procession and he was mourned by many who knew and loved him.
+ Saint John Chrysostom is honored was honored as a “Father of the Church” by the Council of Chalcedon and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1568. He is honored as the patron saint of preachers.
+ The surname “Chrysostom” (meaning “golden-mouthed”) was given to him in the sixth century, in honor of his eloquence and wisdom.
For prayer and reflection
“A person moreover may have a righteous faith in the Father and in the Son, as in the Holy Spirit, but if he does not have a righteous life, his faith will not serve him for salvation. Therefore, when you read in the Gospel: ‘This is eternal life, that they know you as the one true God’ (John 17: 3), do not think that this verse suffices to save us: a most pure life and conduct are essential.’”—Saint John Chrysostom
Today we also remember the Discalced Carmelite nun Blessed María López de Rivas Martínez. After professing her religious vows in 1578, she served as prioress of the Carmel in Toledo, Spain. In 1600 an unjust accusation was made against her and she was removed from office. She accepted the humiliation without resentment and after her accuser died she was reinstated as prioress, serving until her death in 1627. A close friend and confidant of Saint Teresa of Avila, Blessed María of Jesus died on September 13, 1640. She was beatified in 1976. The Discalced Carmelites celebrate her memorial on September 12.
O God, strength of those who hope in you,
who willed that the Bishop Saint John Chrysostom
should be illustrious by his wonderful eloquence
and his experience of suffering,
grant us, we pray,
that, instructed by his teachings,
we may be strengthened through the example
of his invincible patience.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.