St. John Chrysostom
Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church
John came from Antioch and was called Chrysostom because of the golden flood of his eloquence. Ordained a priest of the Church of Antioch, he was later, against his will, made Archbishop of Constantinople to succeed Nectarius, through the influence of Arcadius the emperor.
In this office, since he spoke out strongly against the degradation of public morals and the licentious lives of the nobility, he drew down on himself the hatred of many persons. He gravely offended Empress Eudoxia also, because he reprehended her for taking the money of the widow Callitropa and the land of another widow. For all these reasons he was forced into exile, while all the widows and the needy mourned at being deprived of their common father.
It is beyond belief how many hardships he suffered in his exile and how many people he converted to the faith of Jesus Christ. The number, warmth and brilliance of his sermons and other writings are universally admired. He gave up his soul to God on September 14, and his body was buried in the Vatican basilica. This outstanding Doctor of the universal Church was appointed the heavenly patron of preachers by Pope Pius X.
Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. I: Advent to Passion Sunday (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1727-1728.
Epistle and Gospel for January 27