This is more of a martyrology in verse, fromthe late Aelred-Seton Shanley, Obl. OSB Cam., of the Hermitage of the Dayspring:
Saint John, known as 'Golden-mouthed'
was born in cultured Antioch.
While young, his general father died:
his Christian mother brought him up.
A brilliant student of the law,
schooled by the famous Libanus:
at eighteen, baptised into Christ,
he served as Lector for the Mass.
Drawn to the solitary life
he found a hidden cave for prayer.
the Gospels, then he memorised:
two years, a hermit, living there.
But church and people drew him back
to be a priest among his peers:
his preaching, touched the hardest heart
and often met with shouts and cheers.
He challenged both the status-quo
- the Empire's gross inequity -
while delving deep into the soul
to show one's great complicity.
Twelve years he preached in Antioch,
decrying all who would oppress:
- insisting that the Liturgy
demanded justice be addressed.
then, unexpectedly, he found
he had been named the Patriarch
of great Constantinople's See:
- his leaving grieved all Antioch.
His simple life,.his charity,
impressed the great metropolis:
but when he criticised the rich
the Empress wanted him dismissed.
With Alexandria's Patriarch,
she then connived and laid a plot.
the inf'mous Synod of the Oak,
condemned him, causing riots to start.
Baptismal waters ran with blood
when soldiers fought on Easter night -
forced from his church, he had to use
the city's baths to lead the rite.
- the victim of the Empress' hate -
the Pope declared that those involved
would now be excommunicate.
In exile from the Church he loved,
he died, while forced to march, and shunned:
another thirty years would pass
before true justice would be done.
A great procession formed that day
to bring their bishop=father home:
the Emp'ror, prostrate, with wife,
did penance for his parent's wrong.
"To God be glory in all things."
these were John's final words on earth:
rejected and despised like Christ,
he lives, like him, in spite of death.