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St. John Chrysostom as one of the most prolific Church writers



On January 27/February 9 the holy Orthodox Church celebrates the translation of the relics of the great hierarch and ecumenical teacher John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople. His name is known by every Orthodox Christian, as the Divine Liturgy according to the order of St. John Chrysostom is served in all churches throughout the greater part of the Church year.  
   
St. John was born in the middle of the fourth century in Antioch, in the fourth greatest city of the Roman Empire, in the center of Syria. There he became a priest.

At the end of the century, in 398, St. John was elected bishop of the Constantinopolitan see. To some he seemed a severe, withdrawn, and even stuck-up person. But this was far from true. Rather, he truly was severe—in the ascetic podvig of abstinence and prayer, withdrawn—he didn’t love entertainment and idle company, “stuck-up”—in unceasingly holding himself up to the high measure of the Christian life. He never demanded from others that which he himself did not do.

St. John Chrysostom became one of the most prolific Church writers. In the Russian translation his works take up twenty large volumes, each of which is divided into two (and some even into three) books. The lion’s share of the hierarch’s work is oral preaching, copied down by scribes and then edited by St. John himself.

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