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E02538: John Chrysostom composes and delivers a homily On *Romanos (martyr of Antioch, S00120) during a festival held in the martyr’s memory at Antioch (Syria) or Constantinople. Written in Greek, 386/407.

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posted on 2017-03-09, 00:00 authored by erizos
John Chrysostom, On Romanos (CPG 4354, BHG 1601)


1. The memory of the martyrs is a cause of joy for the church. Their suffering and glory are equally experienced by the whole church, since Christians and martyrs are members of the same body. The greatest thing is love. Love makes us disciples of Christ even without martyrdom. Martyrdom without love has no effect.

2. Romanos is distinguished for the great love he demonstrated in his martyrdom. It is remarkable that the Devil chose to have his tongue cut, rather than any other torment. It was an era of severe persecution, when many were martyred in manifold ways. Romanos publicly declared the faith, encouraging and strengthening martyrs, and causing the repentance of apostates. His activity inspired great courage among the Christians, and reversed their flight. The Devil decided not to subject him to martyrdom, lest it had the opposite effect. He thus had his tongue cut out, in order that the martyr’s followers might be deprived of his voice and teaching.

3. A doctor was appointed to sever the martyr’s tongue. Yet a stronger, spiritual voice was now heard speaking in his mouth. The Devil was clearly afraid of the martyr’s tongue, and this was the proof of the latter’s victory.

4. The martyr’s voice miraculously sounded after his tongue was cut out.

Summary: Efthymios Rizos


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Romanos from Caesarea, martyr in Antioch, ob. 303 : S00120

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Constantinople and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora Constantinople Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoupolis Constantinopolis Constantinople Istanbul

Major author/Major anonymous work

John Chrysostom

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle at martyrdom and death

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


John of Antioch, bishop of Constantinople, who came to be known as Chrysostom (the Golden Mouth), was born in 344/354 in Antioch on the Orontes where he studied under Libanius. He joined the Nicene Christian community of Antioch, led by bishop Meletios of Antioch, and was ordained priest by Meletios’ successor, Flavianos in 386. Acquiring a great reputation as a preacher, John was appointed as bishop of Constantinople in 397. Clashing with the bishop of Alexandria Theophilos and the empress Eudoxia in 403/404, Chrysostom was deposed and banished to Cucusus in Cappadocia and died in Comana of Pontus in 407. The Homily on Romanos survives in 32 Manuscripts, on which see Rambault 2018 and: (accessed 09/03/2017)


The subject of this homily is clearly *Romanos (S00120), a deacon from Caesarea Maritima, whose martyrdom at Antioch under Diocletian is described by Eusebius of Caesarea in the Martyrs of Palestine (E00298). The text, however, provides no evidence about the venue and date of the homily. Since both Antioch and Constantinople had shrines dedicated to him, it is possible that this homily was given at either of these cities.


Text: Migne, J.-P., Patrologia Graeca 50 (Paris: Imprimerie Catholique, 1862), 605-612. Rambault, N. and Allen P. Jean Chrysostome. Panégyriques de Martyrs I. Sources Chrétiennes 595 (Paris : Editions du Cerf, 2018) (critical edition, French translation, introduction, notes). Translation: Mayer, W., St John Chrysostom, The Cult of the Saints: Select Homilies and Letters Introduced, Translated, and Annotated (Popular Patristics Series; New York: St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2006), 227-237. Further reading: Downey, G., Ancient Antioch (Princeton, 1961). Drobner, H.R., The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 327-337. Kelly, J.N.D., Golden Mouth: The Story of John Chrysostom. Ascetic, Preacher, Bishop (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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