Saved a Sick Soul

From Concerning the Christian Priesthood, III (ca. 380-385)

Our natural parents give birth to us for this life only, but there are other parents who give birth to us for that life which is to come. And the former parents are not able to avert death from their offspring, or to repel the assaults of disease. But these other parents have often saved a sick soul, or one which was on the point of perishing, procuring for some a milder chastisement, and preventing others from falling altogether, not only by instruction and admonition, but also by the assistance formed through prayers. For not only at the time of new birth, but afterwards also, they have authority to forgive sins.

“Is any sick among you?” it is said, “Let him call for the elders of the Church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him.”

St. John Chrysostom (ca. 347-407) was Archbishop of Constantinople, and one of the greatest preachers of his era. He is traditionally counted among the Four Great Doctors of the Eastern Church. His treatise Concerning the Christian Priesthood was written during his early ministry in Antioch. His feast day is September 13.


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