Seeking to know God better, John Chrysostom became a hermit in the mountains near Antioch in A.D. 373. Although his time of isolation was cut short by illness, he learned that with God at his side, he could attend alone against anyone or anything.
That lesson served Chrysostom well. In A.D. 398 he was appointed patriarch of Constantinople, where his zeal for reform antagonized the Empress Eudoxia, who had him exiled. Allowed to return after a short time, Chrysostom again infuriated Eudoxia, who sent him away again. How did Chrysostom respond to such persecution? With these words:
“What can I fear? Will it be death? But you know that Christ is my life, and that I shall gain by death. Will it be exile? But the earth and all its fullness are the Lords. Poverty I do not fear; riches I do not sigh for; and from death I do not shrink.”