Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist: Homilies 1-47 - Vol. 1

By Saint John Chrysostom; Sister Thomas Aquinas Goggin | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

JOHN OF CONSTANTINOPLE his contemporaries called the great Chrysostom and left it to a later day— though one not far removed from his own—to coin the epithet by which he is known to posterity. 1 Endowed with a gift of truly golden eloquence, St. John lived in a milieu peculiarly adapted to foster the development of such a talent, and he was not one to bury his. Like the Gospel prototype, he multiplied it many times over by prudent use. But as in the case of many a gifted man, the extent of his greatness was really appreciated only after his days had ended on a minor chord.

St. John Chrysostom's life is one of the most completely documented of the lives of the fourth-century Church Fathers. Biographical sources 2 include reliable witnesses close to his own time, and some information may, of course, be obtained

____________________
1
The first authentic mention is found in a Latin writer, Facundus of Hermiane, about 547, and several other instances survive, showing its use later in that century. Universal acceptance of the surname dates only from the eighth century. Cf. Baur, S. Jean Chrysostome et ses oeuvres, 58-60.
2
For an exhaustive summary of the biographical sources, cf. Baur, Der heilige Johannes Chrysostomus und seine Zeit, I xi-xxvii.

-vii-

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