Strip the rich

The saints and teachers of the early church, especially in the East, were often very outspoken in their critique of the rich and their love and care for the poor. St. John the Almsgiver, patriarch of Alexandria from 606 to 616, and died about 619.

He was known for his generosity to the poor, even defending giving alms to a man who was  found out to  not really be poor by saying that “he may be our Lord in disguise.”

But he had strong words for the rich, especially those who hoarded their wealth:

“If, with the object of giving to the poor, anyone were able, without ill will, to strip the rich right down to their shirts, he would do no wrong, more especially if they were heartless skinflints.”

These are words that are hard for most Christians to hear.





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