ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM Patron Saint of Education, Epilepsy, Lecturers, Orators and Preachers

"Weep for those who die in their wealth and who with all their wealth prepared no consolation for their own souls, who had the power to wash away their sins and did not will to do it. Let us weep for them, let us assist them to the extent of our ability, let us think of some assistance for them, small as it may be, yet let us somehow assist them. But how, and in what way? By praying for them and by entreating others to pray for them, by constantly giving alms to the poor on their behalf. Not in vain was it decreed by the apostles that in the awesome mysteries remembrance should be made of the departed. They knew that here there was much gain for them, much benefit. When the entire people stands with hands uplifted, a priestly assembly, and that awesome sacrificial Victim is laid out, how, when we are calling upon God, should we not succeed in their defense? But this is done for those who have departed in the faith, while even the catechumens are not reckoned as worthy of this consolation, but are deprived of every means of assistance except one. And what is that? We may give alms to the poor on their behalf". - St. John Chrysostom, (Homilies on Philippians 3:9–10 [A.D. 402]).

St. John Chrysostom, one of the greatest Early Church Fathers of the 5th Century, was born around 347 AD.  St. John became a monk and was ordained a priest to serve the Church in Antioch where his eloquent preaching on the Sacred Scriptures earned him the title of "Chrysostom," meaning golden-mouthed."  In 398, Chrysostom was called upon to assume the responsibilities of the Patriarch Archbishop of Constantinople,much to his chagrin.  This reluctant patriarch nevertheless fulfilled his duty with extraordinary energy and courage.  St. John Chrysostom's call to repentance and moral reform won him the emnity of the nominally Christian Empress who had him deposed and exiled on trumped-up charges.  But his preaching and intrepid boldness inspired the hearts of the people of Constantinople who held him in great affection.  His devotion to the written Word of God was matched by a love of the Eucharist and of divine worship.  To this day, the principal "Byzantine" liturgy celebrated by most Slavic, Greek, and middle-eastern Christians is known as the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.  St. John Chysostom, who died under the harsh conditions of his exile in 407, will always be remembered as one of the greatest of the Early Church Fathers and one of the greatest preachers of all time.  His beautiful but always practical bible teaching has earned St. John Chrysostom the title "Doctor of the Church."

Prayer of Saint John Chrysostom

O Lord, deprive me not of Thy heavenly blessings;
O Lord, deliver me from eternal torment;
O Lord, if I have sinned in my mind or thought, 

in word or deed, forgive me.
O Lord, deliver me from every ignorance and heedlessness, 

from pettiness of the soul and stony hardness of heart;
O Lord, deliver me from every temptation;
O Lord, enlighten my heart darkened by evil desires;
O Lord, I, being a human being, have sinned; 

do Thou, being God, forgive me in Thy loving kindness, 
for Thou knowest the weakness of my soul.
O Lord, send down Thy grace to help me, 

that I may glorify Thy holy Name;
O Lord Jesus Christ, inscribe me, Thy servant, 

in the Book of Life, and grant me a blessed end;
O Lord my God, even if I have done nothing good in Thy sight, 

yet grant me, according to Thy grace, that I may make a start in doing good.
O Lord, sprinkle on my heart the dew of Thy grace;
O Lord of heaven and earth, remember me, Thy sinful servant, 

cold of heart and impure, in Thy Kingdom.
O Lord, receive me in repentance;
O Lord, leave me not;
O Lord, save me from temptation;
O Lord, grant me pure thoughts;
O Lord, grant me tears of repentance, 

remembrance of death, and the sense of peace;
O Lord, grant me mindfulness to confess my sins;
O Lord, grant me humility, charity, and obedience;
O Lord, grant me tolerance, magnanimity, and gentleness;
O Lord, implant in me the root of all blessings: 

the fear of Thee in my heart;
O Lord, vouchsafe that I may love Thee with all my heart and soul, 

and that I may obey in all things Thy will;
O Lord, shield me from evil persons and 

devils and passions and all other lawless matters;
O Lord, Who knowest Thy creation and 

that which Thou hast willed for it; 
may Thy will also be fulfilled in me, a sinner, 
for Thou art blessed forevermore. Amen. 

Prayer is the light of the soul

There is nothing more worthwhile than to pray to God and to converse with him, for prayer unites us with God as his companions. As our bodily eyes are illuminated by seeing the light, so in contemplating God our soul is illuminated by him. Of course the prayer I have in mind is no matter of routine, it is deliberate and earnest. It is not tied down to a fixed timetable; rather it is a state which endures by night and day.
Our soul should be directed in God, not merely when we suddenly think of prayer, but even when we are concerned with something else. If we are looking after the poor, if we are busy in some other way, or if we are doing any type of good work, we should season our actions with the desire and the remembrance of God. Through this salt of the love of God we can all become a sweet dish for the Lord. If we are generous in giving time to prayer, we will experience its benefits throughout our life.
Prayer is the light of the soul, giving us true knowledge of God. It is a link mediating between God and man. By prayer the soul is borne up to heaven and in a marvellous way embraces the Lord. This meeting is like that of an infant crying on its mother, and seeking the best of milk. The soul longs for its own needs and what it receives is better than anything to be seen in the world.

Prayer is a precious way of communicating with God, it gladdens the soul and gives repose to its affections. You should not think of prayer as being a matter of words. It is a desire for God, an indescribable devotion, not of human origin, but the gift of God's grace. As Saint Paul says: we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.

Anyone who receives from the Lord the gift of this type of prayer possesses a richness that is not to be taken from him, a heavenly food filling up the soul. Once he has tasted this food, he is set alight by an eternal desire for the Lord, the fiercest of fires lighting up his soul.
To set about this prayer, paint the house of your soul with modesty and lowliness and make it splendid with the light of justice. Adorn it with the beaten gold of good works and, for walls and stones, embellish it assiduously with faith and generosity. Above all, place prayer on top of this house as its roof so that the complete building may be ready for the Lord. Thus he will be received in a splendid royal house and by grace his image will already be settled in your soul. - A reading from the homilies of St. John Chrysostom (Hom 6 on Prayer)


Give us the grace, Lord, to continue the works of penitence we have begun so that the Lenten observance we have taken upon ourselves may be accomplished in sincerity of heart. Amen.

Feast Day: November 13



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