Saint john chrysostom biography channel
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As such, he came to be considered the father of his country He is regarded by most Christians as the Incarnation of God. The history of Christian reflection on the teachings and nature You have successfully emailed this. Thank You for Your Contribution! The earnest, mild, and winning character of this man captivated Chrysostom in such a measure that he soon began to withdraw from classical and profane studies and to devote himself to an ascetic and religious life.
He studied Holy Scripture and frequented the sermons of Meletius. About three years later he received Holy Baptism and was ordained lector. But the young cleric, seized by the desire of a more perfect life, soon afterwards entered one of the ascetic societies near Antioch, which was under the spiritual direction of Carterius and especially of the famous Diodorus, later Bishop of Tarsus see Palladius, "Dialogus", v; Sozomenus, Church History VIII.
Prayer, manual labour and the study of Holy Scripture were his chief occupations, and we may safely suppose that his first literary works date from this time, for nearly all his earlier writings deal with ascetic and monastic subjects [cf.
Four years later, Chrysostom resolved to live as an anchorite in one of the caves near Antioch. He remained there two years, but then as his health was quite ruined by indiscreet watchings and fastings in frost and cold, he prudently returned to Antioch to regain his health, and resumed his office as lector in the church. Chrysostom as deacon and priest at Antioch. As the sources of the life of Chrysostom give an incomplete chronology, we can but approximately determine the dates for this Antiochene period. Very probably in the beginning of Meletius made him deacon, just before his own departure to Constantinople, where he died as president of the Second Ecumenical Council.
The successor of Meletius was Flavian concerning whose succession see F. Cavallera, "Le Schime d'Antioche", Paris, Ties of sympathy and friendship connected Chrysostom with his new bishop. As deacon he had to assist at the liturgical functions, to look after the sick and poor, and was probably charged also in some degree with teaching catechumens. At the same time he continued his literary work, and we may suppose that he composed his most famous book, "On the Priesthood", towards the end of this period c.
There may be some doubt if it was occasioned by a real historical fact, viz. All the earliest Greek biographers seem not to have taken it in that sense.
In the year Chrysostom was ordained priest by Flavian, and from that dates his real importance in ecclesiastical history.
His chief task during the next twelve years was that of preaching, which he had to exercise either instead of or with Bishop Flavian. But no doubt the larger part of the popular religious instruction and education devolved upon him.
The earliest notable occasion which showed his power of speaking and his great authority was the Lent ofwhen he delivered his sermons "On the Statues" P. The people of Antioch, excited by the levy of new taxes, had thrown down the statues of Emperor Theodosius. In the panic and fear of punishment which followed, Chrysostom delivered a series of twenty or twenty-one the nineteenth is probably not authentic sermons, full of vigour, consolatory, exhortative, tranquilizing, until Flavian, the bishop, brought back from Constantinople the emperor's pardon.
But the usual preaching of Chrysostom consisted in consecutive explanations of Holy Scripture. To that custom, unhappily no longer in use, we owe his famous and magnificent commentaries, which offer us such an inexhaustible treasure of dogmatic, moral, and historical knowledge of the transition from the fourth to the fifth century.
These years,were the period of the greatest theological productivity of Chrysostom, a period which alone would have assured him for ever a place among the first Doctors of the Church. A sign of this may be seen in the fact that in the year St.
St. John Chrysostom
Jerome already accorded to the preacher of Antioch a place among his Viri illustres "De Viris ill. From this same fact we may infer that during this time his fame had spread far beyond the limits of Antioch, and that he was well known in the Byzantine Empire, especially in the capital. Chrysostom as bishop of Constantinople. In the ordinary course of things Chrysostom might have become the successor of Flavian at Antioch. But on 27 SeptemberNectarius, Bishop of Constantinople, died.
There was a general rivalry in the capital, openly or in secret, for the vacant see. After some months it was known, to the great disappointment of the competitors, that Emperor Areadius, at the suggestion of his minister Eutropius, had sent to the Prefect of Antioch to call John Chrysostom out of the town without the knowledge of the people, and to send him straight to Constantinople.
In this sudden way Chrysostom was hurried to the capital, and ordained Bishop of Constantinople on 26 February,in the presence of a great assembly of bishops, by Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, who had been obliged to renounce the idea of securing the appointment of Isidore, his own candidate.
The change for Chrysostom was as great as it was unexpected. His new position was not an easy one, placed as he was in the midst of an upstart metropolis, half Western, half Oriental, in the neighbourhood of a court in which luxury and intrigue always played the most prominent parts, and at the head of the clergy composed of most heterogeneous elements, and even if not canonically, at least practically at the head of the whole Byzantine episcopate.
The first act of the new bishop was to bring about a reconciliation between Flavian and Rome. Constantinople itself soon began to feel the impulse of a new ecclesiastical life. The necessity for reform was undeniable.
Saint John Chrysostom
Chrysostom began "sweeping the stairs from the top" Palladius, op. He called his oeconomus, and ordered him to reduce the expenses of the episcopal household; he put an end to the frequent banquets, and lived little less strictly than he had formerly lived as a priest and monk.
With regard to the clergy, Chrysostom had at first to forbid them to keep in their houses syneisactoe, i. He also proceeded against others who, by avarice or luxury, had given scandal. He had even to exclude from the ranks of the clergy two deacons, the one for murder and the other for adultery. Of the monks, too, who were very numerous even at that time at Constantinople, some had preferred to roam about aimlessly and without discipline.
Chrysostom confined them to their monasteries. Finally he took care of the ecclesiastical widows.
Some of them were living in a worldly manner: After the clergy, Chrysostom turned his attention to his flock. As he had done at Antioch, so at Constantinople and with more reason, he frequently preached against the unreasonable extravagances of the rich, and especially against the ridiculous finery in the matter of dress affected by women whose age should have put them beyond such vanities.
Some of them, the widows Marsa, Castricia, Eugraphia, known for such preposterous tastes, belonged to the court circle. It seems that the upper classes of Constantinople had not previously been accustomed to such language. Doubtless some felt the rebuke to be intended for themselves, and the offence given was the greater in proportion as the rebuke was the more deserved. On the other hand, the people showed themselves delighted with thesermons of their new bishop, and frequently applauded him in the church Socrates, Church History VI. They never forgot his care for the poor and miserable, and that in his first year he had built a great hospital with the money he had saved in his household.
But Chrysostom had also very intimate friends among the rich and noble classes. The most famous of these was Olympias, widow and deaconess, a relation of Emperor Theodosius, while in the Court itself there was Brison, first usher of Eudoxia, who assisted Chrysostom in instructing his choirs, and always maintained a true friendship for him.
I was pleased to see a very nuanced explanation of John's fall from favor with the imperial court. Kelly exposes the myth that John merely said nasty things about the empress and she kicked him out. Rather, he highlights the ecclesiastical intrigues and jealously among bishops that led to John's exiles. Kelly's narrative is also honest about disputed points. He clearly explains the scholarly debates about chronology or authenticity, allowing the reader to see where he has to speculate.
The narrative is excellent, but the book lacks a bibliography. An up-to-date bibliography would make this book invaluable for a Chrysostom scholar; without one, it is merely a helpful starting point.
I also have one minor quibble. I noticed about a half dozen typos in the text. Typos always disturb me. By A customer on May 12, This is a superb, thorough, scholarly life of one of the key figures in the political-religious turmoil of late antiquity. Like Kelly's equally fine biography of Jerome, it is not a hagiography or a critical study of John's voluminous works; rather it concentrates on telling the story of his eventful life as revealed through often fragmentary sources.
As a narrative it succeeds very well indeed. My only criticism is that the book gives very little sense of the tremendous secular upheavals against which the turmoil in the church was taking place; it is perhaps significant, in this respect, that the one time the Gothic sacker of Rome is mentioned, he is called "Alaric the Hun. See all 4 customer reviews newest first. Pages with related products. See and discover other items: There's a problem loading this menu right now. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Sign in New customer?
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