St. Paul became a Christian in Syria. St. Peter exercised his authority in Syria before he traveled to Rome. The word “Christian” entered the vocabulary of the human race in Syria.
St. Luke? Syrian.
Know anybody named Damien, Dorothy, Felix, Iggy, Rufus, or Sergio? Then you know someone named after a Syrian saint.
And, 1,606 years ago tomorrow, another Syrian saint entered his eternal reward. The Holy Doctor whose relics and statue adorn St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and whose relics also receive devout visits at Christ our Savior Cathedral in Moscow.
St. John Chrysostom.
Here’s what he said on Easter Sunday morning, around the year AD 400:
Are there any who are devout lovers of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Are there any who are grateful servants?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!
Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!