Letter to St. John Chrysostom by Pope St. Innocent I

The following letter comes from Pope St. Innocent I. Sozomen indicates that it was written to express the pope's solidarity with St. John Chrysostom, who was being persecuted by men in Constantinople. The letter is preserved in Sozomen's Church History Book 8 Chapter 26. I've segmented the text into smaller paragraphs and numbered them to make this letter easier to cite.

Pope St. Innocent I - To St. John Chrysostom

1. Innocent, to the beloved brother John.

2. Although one conscious of his own innocence ought to expect every blessing and to ask for mercy from God, yet it seems well to us to send you a befitting letter by Cyriacus, the deacon, and to counsel you to long-suffering, lest the contumely cast upon you should have more power in subduing your courage than the testimony of a good conscience in encouraging you to hope.

3. It is not requisite to teach you, who are the teacher and pastor of so great a people, that God always tries the best of men to see whether they will continue in the height of patience, and will not give way to any labor of suffering; and how true it is that the conscience is a firm thing against all that befalls us unjustly, and unless one be moved in these misfortunes by patience, he furnishes a ground for evil surmising.

4. For he ought to endure everything, who first trusts in God, and then in his own conscience. Especially when an excellent and good man can exercise himself in endurance, he cannot be overcome; for the Holy Scriptures guard his thoughts, and the devout lections, which we expound to the people, abound in examples.

5. These Scriptures assure us that almost all the saints are variously and continuously afflicted, and are tested by some investigation, and so have come to the crown of patience. Let your conscience encourage your love, O most honored brother; for that faculty amid tribulations possesses an encouragement for virtue. For since Christ, the Master, is observing, the purified conscience will station you in the haven of peace.

Source: http://newadvent.org/fathers/26028.htm

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