St. John Chrysostom lived when the Emperors of Constantinople exercised great influence in the Eastern Church. He was exiled from Constantinople, having run afoul of the Emperor and Empress, and since his letters from exile even held great influence, banished to a further city during his second exile. He died on route to the more distant destination.
Our liturgical opening prayer calls him an “illustrious” preacher whose zeal for the truth of the gospel was “invincible.” As you probably know, his name means “golden mouth” for his preaching eloquence.
Social scientists are now discovering the ill effects of loneliness on our population, including premature death. Though John’s living conditions were undoubtedly harsh, living in exile brings its own burdens.
Let us pray for God to give us the eloquence to defend His truth in this day and for the compassion to console the left-out and lonely.