An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Chrysostom, John

(c. 347-Sept. 14, 407). Eastern patriarch. He was born at Antioch in Syria. Early in life John became a monk. At times he lived as a hermit. He was soon recognized as a great preacher. Shortly after his death he was given the name Chrysostom, which means “golden-mouthed.” In 397 he became the Patriarch of Constantinople. He served in that position until 404 when he was deposed and banished by Empress Eudoxia and Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria. Chrysostom was an opponent of the Arians. He placed great emphasis on the eucharist. The liturgy used by Orthodox Christians every Sunday, except in Lent, is attributed to him. He died in Comana in Pontus, now in northeast Turkey. His most significant writing was On the Priesthood, a manual for priests and bishops. Chrysostom is a Doctor of the Church. In 1908 Pope Pius X named him the patron saint of preachers. On Jan. 27, 438, Emperor Theodosius II moved his body to Constantinople and buried it under the altar of the Church of the Holy Apostles. His life and ministry are commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Jan. 27.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.