Exhortation of Theodore After His Fall

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Spiritually Uplifting Epistles

The Holy Hierarch’s earliest recorded words of encouragement—one of the most powerful antidotes for despair and inclination toward sin.


These two letters, which are the earliest of Saint John Chrysostom's extant works, are addressed to a friend who had been a member of the ascetic brotherhood that Saint John and his friend Basil formed, soon after they had abandoned secular life.

The written appeal of the great golden-mouthed preacher of repentance, combined with the efforts of his fellow monastics, was not in vain. Theodore once more renounced the world and his matrimonial intentions and, renewing his vow to the Lord, retired into the hesychastic seclusion of their sacred monastic life in Christ.