St. John Chrysostom
Feast Day: September 13
Born: 344 / Died: 407
St. John Chrysostom was born in Antioch in Greece. His father died when he was a baby and his mother decided not to marry again. She gave all her attention to bringing up her son and daughter.
She made many sacrifices so that John could have the best teachers. He was very intelligent and could have become a great man in the world. When he gave speeches everyone loved to listen to him. In fact, his name, Chrysostom, means, "Golden-mouthed."
Yet John wanted to give himself to God. He became a priest and lived for about 12 years preaching in Syria. Later he was made bishop and then Archbishop of the great city of Constantinople.
St. John was a wonderful bishop. Although he was always sick, he did a great amount of good. He preached once or twice every day, fed the poor and took care of orphans.
He corrected sinful customs and stopped bad plays from being performed. He loved everyone, but was not afraid to tell even the empress when she did wrong.
Because he fought sin, St. John had many enemies - even the empress herself. She had him sent away from Constantinople. On the trip he suffered greatly from fever, without food and sleep. Yet, he was happy to suffer for Jesus. Just before he died, he cried out, "Glory be to God!"
When St. John died in Turkey on September 14, 407 a terrible hailstorm fell on Constantinople.
Four days later, the evil empress died too. Her son honored St. John's body and showed how sorry he was for what his mother had done.
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