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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world

The presbyter Chrysippus of Jerusalem composes a Homily on *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), which he delivers during a festival in her honour, probably celebrating the Annunciation. Written in Greek, probably in Jerusalem, 455/479.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Other saint-related texts

Literary - Sermons/Homilies

Major author/Major anonymous work

Chrysippus of Jerusalem

Chrysippus, presbyter of Jerusalem, Homily on Mary, the Mother of God (CPG 6075, BHG 1144n)

The author focuses on the Annunciation, which was the theme of the Gospel of the day. There is no information as to the precise venue and date of the sermon.

Liturgical Activities



Saint’s feast

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


Chrysippus (c. 405-479) was born in Cappadocia and grew up in Syria. Together with his brothers, Kosmas and Gabrielios, he came to Palestine and joined the ascetic community (laura) of *Euthymios. At the instigation of the empress Aelia Eudocia, then living in Jerusalem, the three brothers were ordained priests in 456. Chrysippus and Kosmas joined the clergy of the Anastasis, whereas Gabrielios was appointed abbot of the shrine of Stephen the First Martyr. In 467, Chrysippus became staurophylax (Keeper of the True Cross), succeeding in this office his elder brother, Kosmas, who was ordained bishop of Scythopolis. Chrysippus died in 479. Our source about his life, Cyril of Scythopolis' Life of Euthymios, reports that Chrysippus excelled as an author. From his work, only four homilies are known.

This text is known from one manuscript:


This is one of the earliest homilies composed for a Marian feast, focusing on the narrative of the Annunciation. The text contains manifold references to passages from the Old Testament, which are interpreted as references to the virginity of Mary and the incarnation of Christ. An interesting aspect of the text are the repeated salutations, paraphrasing the words of Gabriel (chaire/ ’Hail’...), which anticipate a form of Marian prayer that culminates in the Akathist.


Jugie, M., Homélies mariales byzantines II (Patrologia Orientalis 19, fasc. 3; Paris: Firmin-Didot et Companie, 1926), 336-343.

Further reading:
Di Berardino, A., Patrology: The Eastern Fathers from the Council of Chalcedon (451) to John of Damascus (+750). English translation A. Walford (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co., 2006), 251-252.

Sigalas, A. 
Des Chrysippos von Jerusalem Enkomion auf den hl. Johannes den Täufer. Untersuchungen und Ergänzungen zu den Schriften des Chrysippos (Texte und Forschungen zur Byzantinisch-Neugriechischen Philologie 20; Athens: Verlag der "Byzantinisch-neugriechischen Jahrbücher", 1937).

Record Created By

Efthymios Rizos

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristΜαρίαCertain

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