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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

A Vegan Table Free from Fear. By St. John Chrysostom. Ed. Dr. Chapman Chen

Saint John Chrysostom emphasizes that an angel's table is a vegan table free from fear, consisting of fruits, bread and fountain water, no blood nor flesh:-

"No streams of blood are amongst them [the ascetics], nor cutting up of flesh, nor heaviness of head, nor dainty cooking, neither are there unpleasing smells of meat amongst them, nor disagreeable smoke, neither runnings and tumults, and disturbances, and wearisome clamors; but bread and water, the latter from a pure fountain, the former from honest labor. But if any time they should be minded to feast more sumptuously, their sumptuousness consists of fruits, and greater is the pleasure there than at royal tables. There is no fear there, or trembling; no ruler accuses, no wife provokes, no child casts into sadness, no disorderly mirth dissipates, no multitude of flatterers puffs up; but the table is an angel’s table free from all such turmoil... This table even angels from heaven beholding are delighted and pleased. For if over one sinner that repenteth they rejoice, over so many just men imitating them, what will they not do? There are not master and slave; all are slaves, all free men." (Homily LXIX on Matthew XXII. 1-14.) 

Saint John Chrysostom (347 – 407) was an important Early Church Father, a Greek patriarch, who served as archbishop of Constantinople (398-404). He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his advocacy of veganism, his gentleness towards animals, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, and his ascetic sensibilities. Chrysostomos, anglicized as Chrysostom, means "golden-mouthed" in Greek and denotes his celebrated eloquence. Chrysostom was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church.

At length, his repeated denunciations of the too notorious scandals of the Court and the Church excited the bitter enmity of his brother-prelates, and, by their intrigues at the Imperial Court of Constantinople, he was deposed from his See and exiled to the wildest parts of the Euxine coasts, where, exposed to every sort of privation, he caught a violent fever and died.

He is honoured as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches, as well as in some others. Feast day Sept.13 or Nov 13.


Chrysostom, John. "Homily LXIX on Matthew 22:1-14." Translated by Philip Schaff. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 10, edited by Philip Schaff, Christian Classics Ethereal Library,

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