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E02743: A Greek Homily On the *Maccabees (pre-Christian Jewish martyrs of Antioch, S00303), misattributed to John Chrysostom, is preached during a festival, in the 5th c. or later. Of unknown provenance (perhaps Constantinople).

online resource
posted on 2017-04-27, 00:00 authored by erizos
Pseudo-Chrysostom, Homily 3 on the Maccabees (CPG 4354; BHG 1010)

This homily is given before a crowd cramped in the church. The author states that he will skip the edifying part of the sermon, in order to proceed swiftly to the praise of the saints. He first refers to Eleazar, first martyr of the Old Testament and a prefiguration of the Apostle Peter. Then to the seven Maccabean brothers, but pressed by the crowd, he skips them too, in order to focus on their mother. She bravely witnessed the deaths of all her sons, and gave them up as an offering to God. She should be taken as an exemplar by certain people who complain for being required to offer some money for the church. We should imitate her and be ready to offer our souls, bodies, and belongings to God.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Maccabean Brothers, 2nd-century BC Jewish martyrs in Antioch : S00303

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult activities - Rejection, Condemnation, Scepticism

Condemnation of other activity associated with cult

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Crowds Women


This sermon is preserved in five manuscripts, in most cases appearing after the two Chrysostomic Homilies On the Maccabees (BHG 1008, 1009): (accessed 06/05/2017) Although it appears among the works of Chrysostom in the manuscript tradition, it is most probably not by him. Nevertheless, it is likely to be a late antique homily, possibly from the fifth century or later.


This brief sermon seems to have been given under the pressure of an impatient congregation cramped in a small shrine and demanding the preacher to finish his speech as quickly as possible. A fascinating aspect is the authors allusion to the complaints of members of his community about the collections of offertories in the church.


Text: Migne, J.-P., Patrologia Graeca 50 (Paris: Imprimerie Catholique, 1862), 625-628.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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