St. John Chrysostom was born a Christian in 347, but was taught rhetoric and oratory by Libanius, who was a pagan. As his name indicates ("chrysostom" is Greek for "golden-mouthed"), John was an amazing speaker. Many of his sermons were meant to convert, and did so, with stunning success. John spent six years as a monk in the wilderness, but when he became too weak he was taken back to his native city of Antioch to serve the Church.
John was ordained in 385, and his approach to New Testament theology, logical and highly methodical, gained him great renown. In 397 he was appointed patriarch of Constantinople, and immediately gave his savings and part of his salary to the poor. John was banished twice by the Empress Eudoxia, who was angry at John for his criticism of the behavior of court women. He died on the journey to Pythius, the place of his second exile, in 407.