Paul of Thebes
Paul of Thebes known as Paul, the First Hermit or Paul the Anchorite, or in Egyptian Arabic as Anba Bola, Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲉ. He is not to be confused with Paul the Simple, a disciple of Anthony the Great, he is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church as well as the Orthodox Church. The story of him is told in the book Life of Saint Paul the First Hermit was composed in Latin by Saint Jerome in 375–376. Paul of Thebes was born around 227 in the Thebaid of Egypt. Paul and his married sister lost their parents. In order to obtain Paul's inheritance, his brother-in-law sought to betray him to the persecutors. According to Jerome's Vitae Patrum, Paul fled to the Theban desert as a young man during the persecution of Decius and Valerianus around AD 250, he lived in the mountains of this desert in a cave near a clear spring and a palm tree, the leaves of which provided him with clothing and the fruit of which provided him with his only source of food until he was 43 years old, when a raven started bringing him half a loaf of bread daily.
He would remain in that cave for the rest of his life a hundred years. Paul of Thebes is known to posterity because around the year 342, Anthony the Great was told in a dream about the older hermit's existence, went to find him. Jerome related that Anthony the Great and Paul met when the latter was aged 113, they conversed with each other for one night. The Synaxarium shows each saint inviting the other to bless and break the bread, as a token of honor. Paul held one side, putting the other side into the hands of Father Anthony, soon the bread broke through the middle and each took his part; when Anthony next visited him, Paul was dead. Anthony clothed him in a tunic, a present from Athanasius of Alexandria and buried him, with two lions helping to dig the grave. Father Anthony returned to his monastery taking with him the robe woven with palm leaf, he honored the robe so much that he only wore it twice a year: at the Feast of Easter, at the Pentecost. His feast day is celebrated on January 15 in the West, on January 5 or January 15 in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, on 2 Meshir in the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
Anthony described him as "the first monk". Monastery of Saint Paul the Anchorite traditionally believed to be on the site of the cave where Paul lived and where his remains are kept; the monastery is located in the eastern desert mountains of Egypt near the Red Sea. The Cave Church of St. Paul marks the spot where Anthony, "the Father of Monasticism", Paul, "the First Hermit", are believed to have met, he is the patron saint of the Diocese of San Pablo and is the titular of the Cathedral of the said Diocese in San Pablo, Philippines. The Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit was founded in Hungary in his honour in the 13th century, he is represented with a palm tree, two lions and a raven. Coptic Orthodox Church Monastery of Saint Paul the Anchorite Hermit Coptic Saints The Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit San Pablo, Laguna Oxford Dictionary of Saints, ed D. H. Farmer. OUP 2004. "Coptic Synexarium" Attwater and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993.
ISBN 0-14-051312-4. St Jerome, The Life of Paulus the First Hermit S Paul the Hermit from Voragine's Golden Legend Colonnade Statue in St Peter's Square
Bernard of Clairvaux
Bernard of Clairvaux, O. Cist was a French abbot and a major leader in the reform of Benedictine monasticism that caused the formation of the Cistercian order. "... He was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d'Absinthe, about 15 kilometres southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on 25 June 1115, naming it Claire Vallée, which evolved into Clairvaux. There Bernard would preach an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary." In the year 1128, Bernard attended the Council of Troyes, at which he traced the outlines of the Rule of the Knights Templar, which soon became the ideal of Christian nobility. On the death of Pope Honorius II on 13 February 1130, a schism broke out in the Church. King Louis VI of France convened a national council of the French bishops at Étampes in 1130, Bernard was chosen to judge between the rivals for pope. By the end of 1131, the kingdoms of France, Germany, Portugal and Aragon supported Innocent.
Bernard set out to convince these other regions to rally behind Innocent. In 1139, Bernard assisted at the Second Council of the Lateran, he subsequently denounced the teachings of Peter Abelard to the pope, who called a council at Sens in 1141 to settle the matter. Bernard soon saw one of his disciples elected Pope Eugene III. Having helped end the schism within the church, Bernard was now called upon to combat heresy. In June 1145, Bernard traveled in southern France and his preaching there helped strengthen support against heresy, he preached at the Council of Vézelay to recruit for the Second Crusade. After the Christian defeat at the Siege of Edessa, the pope commissioned Bernard to preach the Second Crusade; the last years of Bernard's life were saddened by the failure of the crusaders, the entire responsibility for, thrown upon him. Bernard died after 40 years as a monk, he was the first Cistercian placed on the calendar of saints, was canonized by Pope Alexander III on 18 January 1174. In 1830 Pope Pius VIII bestowed upon Bernard the title "Doctor of the Church".
Bernard's parents were Tescelin de Fontaine, lord of Fontaine-lès-Dijon, Alèthe de Montbard, both members of the highest nobility of Burgundy. Bernard was the third of seven children. At the age of nine years, he was sent to a school at Châtillon-sur-Seine run by the secular canons of Saint-Vorles. Bernard devoted himself for some time to poetry, his success in his studies won the admiration of his teachers. He wanted to excel in literature, he had a special devotion to the Virgin Mary, he would write several works about the Queen of Heaven. Bernard would expand upon Anselm of Canterbury's role in transmuting the sacramentally ritual Christianity of the Early Middle Ages into a new, more held faith, with the life of Christ as a model and a new emphasis on the Virgin Mary. In opposition to the rational approach to divine understanding that the scholastics adopted, Bernard would preach an immediate faith, in which the intercessor was the Virgin Mary, he is cited for saying that St. Mary Magdalene was the Apostle to the Apostles.
Bernard was only nineteen years of age. During his youth, he did not escape trying temptations and around this time he thought of retiring from the world and living a life of solitude and prayer. In 1098 Saint Robert of Molesme had founded Cîteaux Abbey, near Dijon, with the purpose of restoring the Rule of St Benedict in all its rigour. Returning to Molesme, he left the government of the new abbey to Saint Alberic of Cîteaux, who died in the year 1109. After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. At the age of 22, while Bernard was at prayer in a church, he felt the calling of God to enter the monastery of Cîteaux. In 1113 Saint Stephen Harding had just succeeded Saint Alberic as third Abbot of Cîteaux when Bernard and thirty other young noblemen of Burgundy sought admission into the monastery. Bernard's testimony was so irresistible that 30 of his friends and relatives followed him into the monastic life; the little community of reformed Benedictines at Cîteaux, which would have so profound an influence on Western monasticism, grew rapidly.
Three years Bernard was sent with a band of twelve monks to found a new house at Vallée d'Absinthe, in the Diocese of Langres. This Bernard named Claire Vallée, or Clairvaux, on 25 June 1115, the names of Bernard and Clairvaux would soon become inseparable. During the absence of the Bishop of Langres, Bernard was blessed as abbot by William of Champeaux, Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne. From that moment a strong friendship sprang up between the abbot and the bishop, professor of theology at Notre Dame of Paris, the founder of the Abbey of St. Victor, Paris; the beginnings of Clairvaux Abbey were trying and painful. The regime was so austere that Bernard became ill, only the influence of his friend William of Champeaux and the authority of the general chapter could make him mitigate the austerities; the monastery, made rapid progress. Disciples put themselves under the direction of Bernard; the reputation of his holiness soon attracted 130 new monks, including his own father. His father and all his brothers entered Clairvaux to pursue religious life, leaving only Humbeline, his sister, in the secular world.
She, with the consent of her husband, soon took the veil in the Benedictine nunnery of Jully-les-No
Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco, was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women's Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis on 16 July 1228. Along with Saint Catherine of Siena, he was designated Patron saint of Italy, he became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, it became customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. He is remembered as the patron saint of animals. In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient, he returned to Italy to organize the Order.
Once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew from external affairs. Francis is known for his love of the Eucharist. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene. According to Christian tradition, in 1224 he received the stigmata during the apparition of Seraphic angels in a religious ecstasy, which would make him the second person in Christian tradition after St. Paul to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion, he died during the evening hours of 3 October 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142. Francis of Assisi was born in late 1181 or early 1182, one of several children of an Italian father, Pietro di Bernardone, a prosperous silk merchant, a French mother, Pica de Bourlemont, about whom little is known except that she was a noblewoman from Provence. Pietro was in France on business when Francis was born in Assisi, Pica had him baptized as Giovanni. Upon his return to Assisi, Pietro took to calling his son Francesco in honor of his commercial success and enthusiasm for all things French.
Since the child was renamed in infancy, the change can hardly have had anything to do with his aptitude for learning French, as some have thought. Indulged by his parents, Francis lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man; as a youth, Francesco became a devotee of troubadours and was fascinated with all things Transalpine. He was handsome, witty and delighted in fine clothes, he spent money lavishly. Although many hagiographers remark about his bright clothing, rich friends, love of pleasures, his displays of disillusionment toward the world that surrounded him came early in his life, as is shown in the "story of the beggar". In this account, he was selling cloth and velvet in the marketplace on behalf of his father when a beggar came to him and asked for alms. At the conclusion of his business deal, Francis ran after the beggar; when he found him, Francis gave the man everything. His friends chided and mocked him for his act of charity; when he got home, his father scolded him in rage.
Around 1202, he joined a military expedition against Perugia and was taken as a prisoner at Collestrada, spending a year as a captive. An illness caused him to re-evaluate his life, it is possible. Upon his return to Assisi in 1203, Francis returned to his carefree life. In 1205, Francis left for Apulia to enlist in the army of Count of Brienne. A strange vision made having lost his taste for the worldly life. According to hagiographic accounts, thereafter he began to avoid the sports and the feasts of his former companions. In response, they asked him laughingly whether he was thinking of marrying, to which he answered, "Yes, a fairer bride than any of you have seen", meaning his "Lady Poverty". On a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the poor in begging at St. Peter's Basilica, he spent some time in lonely places. He said he had a mystical vision of Jesus Christ in the forsaken country chapel of San Damiano, just outside Assisi, in which the Icon of Christ Crucified said to him, "Francis, Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins."
He took this to mean the ruined church in which he was presently praying, so he sold some cloth from his father's store to assist the priest there for this purpose. When the priest refused to accept the ill-gotten gains, an indignant Francis threw the coins on the floor. In order to avoid his father's wrath, Francis hid in a cave near San Damiano for about a month; when he returned to town and dirty, he was dragged home by his father, beaten and locked in a small storeroom. Freed by his mother during Bernardone's absence, Francis returned at once to San Damiano, where he found shelter with the officiating priest, but he was soon cited before the city consuls by his father; the latter, not content with having recovered the scattered gold from San Damiano, sought to force his son to forego his inheritance by way of restitution. In the midst of legal proceedings before the Bishop of Assisi, Francis renounced his father and his patrimony. For the next couple of months Francis wandered as a beggar in the hills behind Assisi.
He spent some time at a neighbouring monastery working as a scullion. He went to Gubbio, where a friend gave him, as an alms, the cloak and staff of a pilgrim. Returning to Assisi, he traversed the city begging stones for the restoration of St. Damiano's; these he carried to the old chapel, set in p
Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of individuals who live ascetic and cloistered lives that are dedicated to Christian worship. It began to develop early in the history of the Christian Church, modeled upon scriptural examples and ideals, including those in the Old Testament, but not mandated as an institution in the scriptures, it has come to be regulated by religious rules and, in modern times, the Canon law of the respective Christian denominations that have forms of monastic living. Those living the monastic life are known by the generic terms nuns; the word monk originated from the Greek monachos "monk", itself from monos meaning "alone". Monks did not live in monasteries at first, they began by living alone, as the word monos might suggest; as more people took on the lives of monks, living alone in the wilderness, they started to come together and model themselves after the original monks nearby. The monks formed communities to further their ability to observe an ascetic life.
According to Christianity historian Robert Louis Wilken, "By creating an alternate social structure within the Church they laid the foundations for one of the most enduring Christian institutions..." Monastics dwell in a monastery, whether they live there in community, or in seclusion. The basic idea of monasticism in all its varieties is seclusion or withdrawal from the world or society; the object of this is to achieve a life whose ideal is different from and at variance with that pursued by the majority of humanity, the method adopted, no matter what its precise details may be, is always self-abnegation or organized asceticism. Monastic life is distinct from the "religious orders" such as the friars, canons regular, clerks regular, the more recent religious congregations; the latter has some special work or aim, such as preaching, liberating captives, etc. which occupies a large place in their activities. While monks have undertaken labors of the most varied character, in every case this work is extrinsic to the essence of the monastic state.
Both ways of living out the Christian life are regulated by the respective church law of those Christian denominations that recognize it. Christian monastic life does not always involve communal living with like-minded Christians. Christian monasticism has varied in its external forms, broadly speaking, it has two main types the eremitical or secluded, the cenobitical or city life. St. Anthony the Abbot may be called St. Pachomius of the second; the monastic life is based on Jesus's amen to "be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect". This ideal called the state of perfection, can be seen, for example, in the Philokalia, a book of monastic writings, their manner of self-renunciation has three elements corresponding to the three evangelical counsels: poverty and obedience. Monks and friars are two distinct roles. In the thirteenth century "...new orders of friars were founded to teach the Christian faith," because monasteries had declined. First-century groups such as the Essenes and the Therapeutae followed lifestyles that could be seen as precursors to Christian monasticism.
Early Christian monasticism drew its inspiration from the examples of the Prophet Elijah and John the Baptist, who both lived alone in the desert, above all from the story of Jesus’ time in solitary struggle with Satan in the desert, before his public ministry. The Carmelites find inspiration in the Old Testament prophet Elijah. From the earliest times within the Christian Church, there were individual hermits who lived a life in isolation in imitation of Jesus's 40 days in the desert, they have left no confirmed only hints in the written record. Communities of virgins who had consecrated themselves to Christ are found at least as far back as the 2nd century. There were individual ascetics, known as the "devout", who lived not in the deserts but on the edge of inhabited places, still remaining in the world but practicing asceticism and striving for union with God. Eremitic monasticism, or solitary monasticism, is characterized by a complete withdrawal from society; the word ` eremitic' comes from the Greek word eremos.
This name was given because of St. Anthony of the Desert, or St. Anthony of Egypt, who left civilization behind to live on a solitary Egyptian mountain in the third century. Though he was not the first Christian hermit, he is recognized as such as he was the first known one. Paul the Hermit is the first Christian known to have been living as a monk. In the 3rd century, Anthony of Egypt lived as a hermit in the desert and gained followers who lived as hermits nearby but not in actual community with him; this type of monasticism is called eremitical or "hermit-like". An early form of "proto-monasticism" appeared as well in the 3rd century among Syriac Christians through the "Sons of the covenant" movement. Eastern Orthodoxy looks to Basil of Caesarea as a founding monastic legislator, as well to as the example of the Desert Fathers. Another option for becoming a solitary monastic was to become an anchoress; this began because there were women who wanted to live the solitary lifestyle but were not able to live alone in the wild.
Thus they would go to the Bishop for permission who would perform the rite of enclosure. After this was completed the anchoress would live alone in a room that had a window that opened
Hilarion the Great was an anchorite who spent most of his life in the desert according to the example of Anthony the Great. He is considered to be the founder of Palestinian monasticism and venerated as a saint by Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church; the chief source of information regarding Hilarion is the biography written by St. Jerome; the life of Hilarion was written by Jerome in 390 at Bethlehem. Its object was to further the ascetic life, it contains, amidst much, legendary, some statements which attach it to genuine history, is in any case a record of the state of the human mind in the 4th century. Hilarion was born in Thabatha, south of Gaza in Syria Palaestina of pagan parents, he studied rhetoric with a Grammarian in Alexandria. It seems. After that, he shunned the pleasures of his day—theatre and arena—and spent his time attending church. According to St. Jerome, he was a delicate youth of fragile health. After hearing of Saint Anthony, whose name, "was in the mouth of all the races of Egypt" Hilarion, at the age of fifteen, went to live with him in the desert for two months.
As Anthony's hermitage was busy with visitors seeking cures for diseases or demonic affliction, Hilarion returned home along with some monks. At Thabatha, his parents having died in the meantime, he gave his inheritance to his brothers and the poor and left for the wilderness. Hilarion went to the area southwest of Majoma, the port of Gaza, limited by the sea at one side and marshland on the other; because the district was notorious for brigandage, his relatives and friends warned him of the danger he was incurring, it was his practice never to abide long in the same place. With him he took only a shirt of coarse linen, a cloak of skins given to him by St. Anthony, a coarse blanket, he led a nomadic life, he fasted rigorously, not partaking of his frugal meal until after sunset. He supported himself by weaving baskets. Hilarion lived a life of hardship and simplicity in the desert, where he experienced spiritual dryness that included temptations to despair. Beset by carnal thoughts, he fasted more.
He was "so wasted that his bones scarcely held together". According to St. Jerome: He built a hut of reeds and sedges at the site of modern-day Deir al-Balah in which he lived for four years. Afterwards, he constructed a tiny low-ceilinged cell, "a tomb rather than a house", where he slept on a bed of rushes, recited the Bible or sang hymns, he never washed his clothes, changed them only when they fell apart, shaved his hair only once a year. He was once visited by robbers, but they left him alone when they learned that he did not fear death. Saint Jerome describes his diet as a half a pint of lentils moistened with cold water, after three years he switched to dry bread with salt and water. Perceiving his sight to grow dim and his body to be subject to an itching with an unnatural roughness, he added a little oil to this diet. After he had lived in the wilderness for 22 years, he became quite famous in Syria Palaestina. Visitors started begging for his help; the parade of petitioners and would-be disciples drove Hilarion to retire to more remote locations.
But they followed him everywhere. First he visited Anthony’s retreat in Egypt, he withdrew to Sicily to Dalmatia, to Cyprus. He died there in 371. Miracles were attributed to him, his first miracle was when he cured a woman from Eleutheropolis, barren for 15 years. He cured three children of a fatal illness, healed a paralysed charioteer, expelled demons. In time, a monastery grew around his cell, so beset by visitors females, that Hilarion fled. Hermann Hesse adapted a biography of St. Hilarion as one of the three Lives of Joseph Knecht, making up his Nobel Prize–winning novel The Glass Bead Game. In 390 AD at Bethlehem, Jerome wrote of Hilarion's life. According to Jerome, Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis, had described his virtues in a well-known letter, which has not been preserved. See St. hilarion-Aziz Hilarion in Templos- legends of CyprusSt. Hilarion Castle in Turkish: "101 houses", see the article Templos The life of St. Hilarion Colonnade Statue in St Peter's Square
Abstinence is a self-enforced restraint from indulging in bodily activities that are experienced as giving pleasure. Most the term refers to sexual abstinence, or abstinence from alcohol, drugs, or food; because the regimen is intended to be a conscious act chosen to enhance life, abstinence is sometimes distinguished from the psychological mechanism of repression. The latter is an unconscious state, having unhealthy consequences. Abstinence may arise from an ascetic over indulgent, hasidic point of view in natural ways of procreation, present in most faiths, or from a subjective need for spiritual discipline. In its religious context, abstinence is meant to elevate the believer beyond the normal life of desire, to a chosen ideal, by following a path of renunciation. For Jews, the principal day of fast is the Day of Atonement. For Muslims, the period of fasting lasts from dawn to dusk. Both Jews and Muslims abstain from pork in their regular diet. In both Christianity and Islam, amongst others, pre-marital sex is prohibited.
Catholic Christians abstain from food and drink for an hour prior to taking Holy Communion, abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during Lent. Many Traditionalist Catholics abstain from eating meat all Fridays in the year. In the Anglican Communion, the Book of Common Prayer prescribes certain days as days for fasting and abstinence, "consisting of the 40 days of Lent, the ember days, the three rogation days, all Fridays in the year." Orthodox Christians abstain from food and drink from midnight on the day they receive Holy Communion, abstain from meat and dairy on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year, as well as during Great Lent. Catholics distinguish between abstinence; some Protestants Methodists and Baptists, have preferred to abstain from drinking alcohol and the use of tobacco. Mormons abstain from certain foods and drinks by combining spiritual discipline with health concerns. Mormons fast one day a month, for both spiritual and charitable reasons; the Seventh-day Adventist Church encourages the consumption of only clean meats as specified in Leviticus and discourages the consumption of alcohol and the use of narcotics.
In India, Jains and Hindus abstain from eating meat and fish on the grounds both of health and of reverence for all sentient forms of life. Total abstinence from feeding on the flesh of cows is a hallmark of Hinduism. In addition and monastic Buddhists refrain from killing any living creature and from consuming intoxicants, bhikkhus keep vows of chastity. In Theravada Buddhism, bhikkhus refrain from eating in the afternoon, cannot accept money. Jains abstain from violence in any form, will not consume living creatures or kill bugs or insects. In medicine, abstinence is the discontinuation of a drug an addictive one; this might, in addition to craving after the drug, be expressed as withdrawal syndromes. In the Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous, a large fellowship following the 12-steps outlined by AA, NA is outlined to be "a program of complete abstinence from all mood or mind-altering substances." This description includes alcohol, because alcohol is a drug, is known to include any kind of prescription narcotics, like pain-killers, anti-anxiety medicine or diet pills.
The practice of abstinence is a learned behavior, comes over time - time spent listening and sharing in NA and AA meetings, behavioral health psychology group or individualized therapies, hanging out with people in the recovery support community. Fasting is the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. A fast may be total or partial concerning that from which one fasts, may be prolonged or intermittent as to the period of fasting. Fasting practices may preclude sexual activity as well as food, in addition to refraining from eating certain types or groups of foods. A complete fast in its traditional definition is abstinence of all food and liquids except for water. Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes meat, fowl, fish and other sea creatures. There are several variants of the diet, some of which exclude eggs or products produced from animal labour such as dairy products and honey. Smoking cessation is the action leading towards the discontinuation of the consumption of a smoked substance tobacco, but it may encompass cannabis and other substances as well.
Teetotalism is the promotion of complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages. Some common reasons for choosing teetotalism are religious, family, philosophical or social reasons, sometimes, as a matter of taste preference; when at drinking establishments, they either abstain from drinking or consume non-alcoholic beverages such as tea, water and soft drinks. Contemporary and colloquial usage has somewhat expanded teetotalism to include strict abstinence from most "recreational" intoxicants. Most teetotaller organizations demand from their members that they do not promote or produce alcoholic intoxicants. A general abstinence from pleasures or leisure, either partial or full, may be motivated by ambi
John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, his ascetic sensibilities; the epithet Χρυσόστομος denotes his celebrated eloquence. Chrysostom was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church, exceeded only by Augustine of Hippo in the quantity of his surviving writings, he is honored as a saint in the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches, as well as in some others. The Eastern Orthodox, together with the Byzantine Catholics, hold him in special regard as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs; the feast days of John Chrysostom in the Eastern Orthodox Church are 27 January. In the Roman Catholic Church he is recognized as a Doctor of the Church and commemorated on 13 September in the current General Roman Calendar and on 27 January in the older calendar.
Other churches of the Western tradition, including some Anglican provinces and some Lutheran churches commemorate him on 13 September. However, certain Lutheran churches and Anglican provinces commemorate him on the traditional feast day of 27 January; the Coptic Church recognizes him as a saint. John was born in Antioch in 349 to Greek parents from Syria. Different scholars describe his mother Anthusa as a pagan or as a Christian, his father was a high-ranking military officer. John's father died soon after his birth and he was raised by his mother, he was tonsured as a reader. It is sometimes said that he was bitten by a snake when he was ten years old, leading to him getting an infection from the bite; as a result of his mother's influential connections in the city, John began his education under the pagan teacher Libanius. From Libanius, John acquired the skills for a career in rhetoric, as well as a love of the Greek language and literature; as he grew older, John became more committed to Christianity and went on to study theology under Diodore of Tarsus, founder of the re-constituted School of Antioch.
According to the Christian historian Sozomen, Libanius was supposed to have said on his deathbed that John would have been his successor "if the Christians had not taken him from us". John lived in extreme asceticism and became a hermit in about 375; as a consequence of these practices, his stomach and kidneys were permanently damaged and poor health forced him to return to Antioch. John was ordained as a deacon in 381 by Saint Meletius of Antioch, not in communion with Alexandria and Rome. After the death of Meletius, John separated himself from the followers of Meletius, without joining Paulinus, the rival of Meletius for the bishopric of Antioch, but after the death of Paulinus he was ordained a presbyter in 386 by Evagrius, the successor of Paulinus. He was destined to bring about reconciliation between Flavian I of Antioch and Rome, thus bringing those three sees into communion for the first time in nearly seventy years. In Antioch, over the course of twelve years, John gained popularity because of the eloquence of his public speaking at the Golden Church, Antioch's cathedral his insightful expositions of Bible passages and moral teaching.
The most valuable of his works from this period are his Homilies on various books of the Bible. He was concerned with the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor, he spoke against abuse of wealth and personal property:Do you wish to honour the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad, he who said: "This is my body" is the same who said: "You saw me hungry and you gave me no food", "Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did to me"... What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger? Start by satisfying his hunger and with what is left you may adorn the altar as well, his straightforward understanding of the Scriptures – in contrast to the Alexandrian tendency towards allegorical interpretation – meant that the themes of his talks were practical, explaining the Bible's application to everyday life. Such straightforward preaching helped Chrysostom to garner popular support.
He founded a series of hospitals in Constantinople to care for the poor. One incident that happened during his service in Antioch illustrates the influence of his homilies; when Chrysostom arrived in Antioch, the bishop of the city, had to intervene with Emperor Theodosius I on behalf of citizens who had gone on a rampage mutilating statues of the Emperor and his family. During the weeks of Lent in 387, John preached more than twenty homilies in which he entreated the people to see the error of their ways; these made a lasting impression on the general population of the city: many pagans converted to Christianity as a result of the homilies. As a result, Theodosius' vengeance was not as severe. In the autumn of 397, John was appointed Archbishop of Constantinople, after having been nominated without his knowledge by the eunuch Eutropius, he had to leave Antioch in secret due to fears that the departure of such a popular figure would cause civil unrest. During his time as Archbishop he