On this day we commemorate the departure of the honorable St. John Chrysostom (Golden Mouth). He was born in the City of Antioch around the year 347 A.D., to a rich father, whose name was Sakondos and a righteous mother, whose name was Anthosa. They brought him up well and reared him in the Christian faith.
He went to the City of Athens where he learned Greek wisdom in one of its schools. He surpassed many in knowledge and virtue. He forsook the world and became a monk at a young age in one of the monasteries. He had a friend whose name was Basilius, who was ordained a monk before him in that monastery. They had the same interests and they practised many virtues.
When his father died, John did not keep any of his father's belongings, but gave everything to the poor and the needy and lived a life of toil as an ascetic.
In the monastery there was a Syrian hermit whose name was Ansosynos. One night he saw the Apostles Peter and John going to John and the Apostle John gave him a Bible and told him: "Do not be afraid, whosoever you shall bind, shall be bound, and whosoever you shall loosen, shall be loosened". The old hermit therefore realised that John would be a faithful shepherd. The grace of the Lord filled him and he wrote homilies and sermons and he interpreted many books while he was still a deacon. It was Melatius, Patriarch of Antioch who ordained him a deacon and his successor St. Phlapianus, by the guidance of the angel of the Lord, ordained him a priest.
When Nectarius, Patriarch of Constantinople departed Emperor Arcadius summoned St. John and made him Patriarch. He conducted himself in an Apostolic manner. He continually taught, preached and interpreted the books of the Church, both old and new. He boldly admonished the sinners and the wealthy.
Queen Eudoxia, the wife of Emperor Arcadius, had a lust for money. She took by force a garden which belonged to a poor widow. The latter complained to the Saint, who went to the Queen, counselled her and asked her to return the garden to its owner.
When Eudoxia did not listen to him, he prevented her from entering the church and partaking of the Holy Communion. She became angry and gathered a Council of bishops who St. John had previously excommunicated for their evil deeds and mismanagement. They sentenced the Saint to exile. He was exiled in the Island of Thrace, but this exile did not last more than one night. The people were enraged and they gathered around the royal palace demanding the return of the Patriarch.
While the people were in a state of sorrow because of their shepherd, a severe earthquake took place which was about to destroy the whole city. The people were terrified and thought that this was a sign of the Lord's wrath because of the Saint's exile. Eudoxia, was disturbed, her soul was troubled and she went in haste to her husband and asked him to bring back the Saint from exile. The people were exceedingly joyous for his return.
The mood of joy did not last long. There was a large square beside the church of Agia Sophia, where a large silver statue of Queen Eudoxia was erected. On the day of its dedication, some common people danced madly, played profligate games, until they were immersed in immorality and sin. Because of St. John's zeal to curb the spread of immorality, he repudiated the people with great courage in his sermons.
His enemies took advantage of his zeal and accused him before the Queen of having said: "Herodia had risen up and danced and asked the head of John the Baptist on a plate". This cruel accusation gave the Queen a good reason to sentence him to exile. She instructed the soldiers who were in charge of guarding him not to give him any rest during his travel. Thus, they moved him from place to place hastily, until they came to a city called Komana, where his health deteriorated and he departed in peace in the year 407 A.D.
During the reign of Theodosius II, the son of Emperor Arcadius who exiled him, his body was taken to Constantinople, where it was placed in the Church of the Apostles.