John Chrysostom died at the age of 60 years on September 14, 407. He was born in Syria, and was a lawyer. After studying the Scriptures, he left his law practice and wanted to spend all his time learning the Bible. His invalid mother took him in to help her, and this gave him several years of time to do this study.
After she died, he was the preacher of the church at Antioch, where he served for 14 years. Military officials under orders, arrested him and transported him to the capital, forced his ordaination, and appointed him arch-bishop.
In 398, he became the Patriarch of Constantinople. His preaching later earned him his name which means “Golden Mouthed.” As a preacher, his practical, powerful and at times funny messages angered politicians and priests. He dared to speak of living the Christian life and the need for reforms. While others doubted heaven and hell, he knew they existed and spoke of them often.
One of those riled was Eudoxia, the Emperor’s wife. Several bishops conspired against him with a jealous Patriarch of Alexandria, they tried more than once to depose him. He was banished to a remote area of the Black Sea to silence this plainspoken preacher.
On the day of his departure, a riot began in Constantinople. That night a powerful earthquake shook the city. The public officials sent for him and he returned. However, his blunt sermons continued to upset the authorities and in 404, after defying an imperial order, he was exiled to an eastern frontier. Because he was not allowed to preach, he took up the pen and wrote what he learned.
Three years later, he was ordered to march to a remote location to silence him. On the way he died of exposure and exhaustion. Yet, his voice still speaks today, because he was willing to walk with God! He left behind 350 sermons, 620 homilies, 250 letters and other books and tracts.
Picture from Christian History: John Chrysostom. electronic ed. Logos Library Systems. Carol Stream IL: Christianity Today, 1994; Published in electronic form by Logos Research Systems, 1996.
Elwell, W. A., & W. A. Elwell. Biographical Entries from Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. electronic ed. Baker reference library; Logos Library System. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1997, c1984.
Lang, J. S. 1,001 Things You Always Wanted to Know About Angels, Demons, and the Afterlife. electronic ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000.
Morgan, R. J. On This Day: 365 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes. electronic ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997. September 14.
Ulback, Edward. “John Chrysostom, Preacher” Dallas Theological Seminary. Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 95. Dallas Theological Seminary, 1938; 2002. Vol. 95, Page 339.