The Evangelization Station

Best Catholic Links

Search this Site




Mailing List

Pray for Pope Francis

Scroll down for topics

100+ Important Documents in United States History


Apostolic Fathers of the Church

Articles Worth Your Time

 Biographies & Writings of Notable Catholics

Catholic Apologetics

Catholic Calendar

Catholic News Commentary by Michael Voris, S.T.B.

Catholic Perspectives

Catholic Social Teaching


Church Around the World

Small animated flag of The Holy See (State of the Vatican City) graphic for a white background

Church Contacts

  Church Documents

Church History

Church Law

Church Teaching


Doctors of the Church



(Death, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell)

Essays on Science


Fathers of the Church

Free Catholic Pamphlets

 Heresies and Falsehoods

How to Vote Catholic

Let There Be Light

Q & A on the Catholic Faith

Links to Churches and Religions

Links to Newspapers, Radio and Television

Links to Recommended Sites

Links to Specialized Agencies

Links to specialized Catholic News services


General Instruction of the Roman Missal


Marriage & the Family

Modern Martyrs

Mexican Martyrdom

Moral Theology


Pope John Paul II's

Theology of the Body

Movie Reviews (USCCB)

New Age


Parish Bulletin Inserts

Political Issues

Prayer and Devotions



Hope after Abortion

Project Rachel


Help & Information for Men


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults




The Golden Legend


Vocation Links & Articles


What the Cardinals believe...

World Religions

Pope John Paul II

In Memoriam

John Paul II


Pope Benedict XVI

In Celebration

Visits to this site


Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church, 344-407

It was Saint John's eloquence that earned for him the surname Chrysostom ("golden-mouthed"). This fourth-century Doctor of the Church was born about 344 in the city of Antioch, where he was reared by his mother and educated by Libanus, the most renowned orator of the period. Baptized about 370 by Bishop Meletius, John went to a monastery and later became a hermit, living in the desert for two years until ill health forced him to return to the city. In 386 he was ordained a priest. This year marks the beginning of his importance in Church history.

During the next twelve years John matured as an orator and a writer. He became prominent throughout the East during this time. In 387 he delivered a series of sermons that settled a conflict between the emperor and the citizens of Antioch that arose over the levying of new taxes. Most of his sermons, however, were explanations of Holy Scripture or exhortations to virtue. To this period (386-397) belong most of his theological and ascetical works and his famous book, On the Priesthood, contributions which alone would warrant his high place among the first Doctors of the Church. To this day, many Catholics of the East celebrate Mass "according to the liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.."

When the bishop of Constantinople died in 397, the course of John's life was suddenly changed. To settle rivalry over succession to the vacant see, Emperor Arcadius selected John as bishop. But the news was not made public until John could be safely escorted to Constantinople, for fear of protests from the citizens of Antioch. He was consecrated bishop of the imperial city on February 26, 398.

After his appointment all Constantinople felt the force of his zeal. He immediately enforced discipline among the clergy; then, turning his attention to the faithful, he preached against extravagance, lust, and avarice. He erected hospitals and homes for the sick and poor, regulated Church affairs at Ephesus, and revised the Byzantine liturgy.

At first he was in great favor at court, but his uncompromising reforms laid the groundwork for his final banishment. A sermon concerning the vanity of women was taken as a personal affront by Empress Eudoxia, who with the aid of John's enemies influenced her weak husband to send the bishop into exile. Threats of the angered citizens, however, plus some now unknown accident in the palace, prevented the carrying out of this sentence. A few months later, in 404, a more serious incident occurred. A new statue of the empress was erected near the cathedral, and the celebrations that accompanied this event were so extreme that John complained about them, again provoking the empress. This time his exile could not be prevented; he was banished to Cucusus, a city on the eastern frontier of Cilicia. Then in 407, in defiance of Pope Innocent I, who strongly supported John, an order was given to send the saint to a more remote place between the Black and Caspian seas. Exhausted by the journey and the maltreatment he suffered, John died on September 14, 407, near Comana in Cappadocia.



Copyright 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved