St. John Chrysostom †407

  Today is the feast day of St. John Chrysostom, the patron saint of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian parish my wife and I attend in York, PA. He was one of the Church’s greatest champions of a vigorous Christian life, a life which, he insisted, must include unconditional generosity and self-sacrifice. His continual insistence on this life of giving to those in need (without scrutiny or judgement as to whether they deserve it) in his homilies as Archbishop of Constantinople make him a natural choice as an intercessor for persons with disability. On western lists he is counted, in this regard, simply as an intercessor for epileptics. But I personally would not limit St. John Chrysostom in this regard. He is most certainly one of the most brightly shining Saints of the Church. He championed a life on earth that shines, and died, tragically, because of the dysfunctional machinations of the Church politics of his time. Truly his life reflected the Lord Jesus Christ, and he lives in Christ’s presence, glorifying Him, and making intercession for us.

My Master’s thesis: St. John Chrysostom and the Socialization of Persons with Developmental Disability: Patristic Inspiration for Contemporary Application

See especially pages 5-8 for a short summary of his life, and pages 8-21 for the many quotation I found from his homilies and words which show his desire that all Christians should be lavishly generous to those in need, and that such people also deserve respect and a place as well as roles in the the life of our parishes. 

My favorite quote by St. John Chrysostom: 

If you ever wish to associate with someone, make sure that you do not give your attention to those who enjoy health and wealth and fame as the world sees it, but take care of those in affliction, . . . in critical circumstances, . . . who are utterly deserted and enjoy no consolation. Put a high value on associating with these, for from them you shall receive much profit, . . . and you will do all to the glory of God. God Himself has said, ‘I am the Father of orphans and the protector of widows.

(Psalms 67:6)’” (Paul Harkin, ed. Ancient Christian Writers: St. John Chrysostom’s Baptismal Instructions, 6.12, pp. 97-98 )

Other online resources on St. John Chrysostom:


From the Orthodox Church of America website: 

The Paschal (Easter) Homily of St. John Chrysostom, read every Pascha in Orthodox Christian Churches (not long, but breathtakingly joyful): 

By an Antiochian Orthodox Christian teenager: 

Works on St. John Chrysostom as well as works by him (The collection is truly vast!): 

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