Faithful Friday: John Chrysostom

By Caroline Liberatore

Saint John Chrysostom is a figure in ecclesial history with a stunning breadth of influence. As a writer, preacher, and archbishop, his life was scored with a generative fervor in bolstering and guiding the church. Although he was raised by his mother with a great deal of pagan influence, John chose to devote himself to the study of Christian theology. This background, however, would prove to shape his particular zeal for maintaining a purity from corrupted aspects of culture.

It would be accurate to describe John as a reforming force in the Church – through his scope of influence, he sought to refine the Church and correct unfaithfulness. He particularly addressed the love of wealth within the Church, and emphasized the necessity of generously caring for the poor. Due to his zeal for the purity of the Church, John often spoke against Jewish tradition. Although John’s motives may have been right in wanting to preserve Christians in their unique faith, it is important to note that these works have been critiqued for their strong language and misuses for anti-Semetic causes.

John’s acquired name, Chrysostom (meaning “golden mouth”), is a testament to the quintessential impressions he made through his written works and sermons. He is most notably known for his Homilies, which are exegetical studies on various portions of scripture. John also divulged in treatises, which explored various topics of theology and monastic life. John was also key in shaping many liturgies of the Church, which he is still recognized for to this day.

May we, as Saint John Chrysostom, be fervently outspoken for faithfulness to the gospel. 


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