St. Peter Chrysologos (380-450) on the Heavenly Bread of the Lord’s Prayer

One of the under-appreciated giants of the early Church is St. Peter Chrysologus (380-450), who was Archbishop of Ravenna. He has his given last name “Chrysologus” because it means, literally, “the Golden-worded” (Χρυσο-λόγος, i.e., he preached gold.) It is similar to St. John Chrysostom whose name Chrysostomos means “the Golden Tongue”.

He gives a nugget of gold in his commentary on the Lord’s prayer on the part which says, “give us our daily bread”, and I am happy to share it with you all. *Notice the continuity of “flesh” from that which took residence in Mary, died on the cross, and was buried in the tomb with what St. Peter believed was placed in the Church and its altars. A spiritual presence (absent of substance) doesn’t get placed somewhere (or at least, it is very unlikely he thought of it this way)*

He writes:

“The heavenly Father is encouraging us, as heavenly sons, to ask for heavenly bread. He said: 𝘐 𝘢𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯 (John 6:41). He is the Bread sown in the Virgin, leavened in the flesh, moulded in His passion, baked in the furnace of the sepulchre, 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒉𝒖𝒓𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒆𝒕 𝒖𝒑𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒔, 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒄𝒉 𝒅𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒚 𝒔𝒖𝒑𝒑𝒍𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒍𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒂𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒇𝒖𝒍”

(Sermon 67; Eng. Trans: Claire Russell, 𝐺𝑙𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑠𝑒𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐶ℎ𝑢𝑟𝑐ℎ 𝐹𝑎𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑠: 𝑆𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑊𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐹𝑎𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐶ℎ𝑢𝑟𝑐ℎ (London: Scepter, 2008), 365.)