St. John the Almsgiver, Patriarch of Alexandria
Greek IOANNES ELEEMON
Cypriot by birth, St. John was a widower probably over 50 when he was c.
608/610 appointed or acclaimed Patriarch of Alexandria. He was a wealthy
man whose children had also died, and he sought to serve his masters, the
poor, through the direct giving of alms and the establishing of hospitals.
He is said to have sat openly available in church on Wednesdays and
Fridays so that the poor could speak with him. John opposed Monophysitism
and employed Sophronius (later Patriarch of Jerusalem) and John Moschus in
his battle against the followers of Severus of Antioch. When the Persians
invaded Alexandria, John returned to Cyprus, where he died peacefully c.
616/620. Sophronius and Moschus authored vitae of their friend and mentor.
The body of St. John was kept at Constantinople until the XV Century, when
the sultan gave it to King Matthias of Hungary. The relics were translated
to Bratislava in the XVII century.
Karen Rae Keck
- St. Leontius of Neapolis:
Vita S. Joannis Eleemosynarii
(Life of St. John the Almsgiver ).
The version in Migne is the Latin translation
by Anastasius the Librarian, but Greek
versions also exist.
Translated and compiled from several Greek sources
by Elizabeth Dawes (1948) in
Three Byzantine Saints. Crestwood: SVS, 1997.
The Life of St John the Almsgiver.
Translated from the Latin version (with
Anastasius' preface) by Rev. Benedict Baker.
--- Vitae Patrum
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