I stumbled upon the following quotations from St. Alphonsus' book "The History of Heresies and their Refutation":

Gratia Dei semper in beneficiis priores sibi partes vindicat. (St. Chrysos. Hom. 13, in Jean)

Quia in nostra voluntate totum post Gratiam Dei relictum est, ideo et peccantibus supplicia proposita sunt, et bene operantibus retributiones. (Idem, Hom. 22, in Gen.)

Igitur quod accepisti, habes, ncque hoc tantum, aut illud, sed quidquid habes; non enim merita tua hæc sunt, sod Dei Gratia; quamvis fidem adducas, quamvis dona, quamvis doctrinæ sermonem, quamvis virtutem, omnia tibi inde provenerunt. Quid igitur habes quæso, quod acceptum non habeas? Num ipse perte recte operatus es? Non sane, sed accepisti...Propterea cohibearis oportet, non enim tuum ad munus est, sed largieutis. (St. Chrysos. Hom, in cap. 4, 1, ad Cor.)

The problem is that I can't find those in the works cited by Alphonsus. Any experts here on St. John Chrysostom or that have read some of his works that can help me out?

  • The complete list of writings of St. John Chrysostom can be found in the Patrologia Graeca, volumes 47 to 64, which appear to be online thanks to google digitalisation efforts, here (or here). These include both the Greek original and a Latin translation.
    – luchonacho
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 10:18

2 Answers 2


The source for the first quotation is the Chrysostom's 14th homily on St. John's Gospel. I've bolded and italicized the part of which the Latin above is a gloss.

After having said, Of His fullness have all we received, he adds, and grace for grace. For by grace the Jews were saved: I chose you, says God, not because you were many in number, but because of your fathers. Deuteronomy 7:7, Septuagint If now they were chosen by God not for their own good deeds, it is manifest that by grace they obtained this honor. And we too all are saved by grace, but not in like manner; not for the same objects, but for objects much greater and higher. The grace then that is with us is not like theirs. For not only was pardon of sins given to us, (since this we have in common with them, for all have sinned,) but righteousness also, and sanctification, and sonship, and the gift of the Spirit far more glorious and more abundant. By this grace we have become the beloved of God, no longer as servants, but as sons and friends. Wherefore he says, grace for grace. Since even the things of the law were of grace, and the very fact of man being created from nothing, (for we did not receive this as a recompense for past good deeds, how could we, when we even were not? But from God who is ever the first to bestow His benefits,) and not only that we were created from nothing, but that when created, we straightway learned what we must and what we must not do, and that we received this law in our very nature, and that our Creator entrusted to us the impartial rule of conscience, these I say, are proofs of the greatest grace and unspeakable lovingkindness. And the recovery of this law after it had become corrupt, by means of the written (Law), this too was the work of grace. For what might have been expected to follow was, that they who falsified the law once given should suffer correction and punishments; but what actually took place was not this, but, on the contrary, an amending of our nature, and pardon, not of debt, but given through mercy and grace. For to show that it was of grace and mercy, hear what David says; The Lord executes righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed; He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel Psalm 103:6-7: and again; Good and upright is the Lord, therefore will He give laws to them that are in the way. Psalm 25:8

I found this, because the same Latin passage is quoted in St. Albert the Great's Commentary on the Sentences, but with the citation pointing to Chyrsostom's 14th homily. Francisco Suarez (who lived 1548-1617) gives the same erroneous citation to the 13th homily as St. Alphonsus (lived 1696–1787) did, so we might hypothesize that St. Alphonsus was not looking at the original himself, but at Suarez or another author who also quoted Chrysostom with the incorrect citation.

  • I will try to come back and add the others later if I get a chance (and if I can find them!)
    – Jahaza
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 19:02

The complete list of writings of St. John Chrysostom can be found in the Patrologia Graeca, volumes 47 to 64, which appear to be online thanks to google digitalisation efforts, here, here, or here. These texts include both the Greek original and a Latin translation. The best source however is this one, which includes a full searchable database of the writings in Latin.

Taking the last of the links above, we can find:

  • Homily 14, on John, page 94 (credit for this goes to Jahaza):

sed Deus semper beneficiis nos praevenit.

In the searchable database, if you look for "beneficiis", you only find these 5 entries in all the Homilies on John. Hence, the thesis of Jahaza that it is a quote from Homily 14 might be correct. I also found the quote "benignus enim Dominus prioribus semper beneficiis recentiora quaedam superaddit." in Homily 43 on Genesis (page 150), but it is probably very different.

Verum quia in nostra voluntate totum post gratiam Dei relictum est, ideo et peccantibus supplicia parata sunt, et bene operantibus mercedes et praemia.

So, the quote is not the same as that in St. Alphonsus book. In fact, this difference is already in the original (Italian) version of the book ("Storia delle eresie colle loro confutazioni"), proving this is not a problem of the English translator. Most likely, Alphonsus was using a different source from the above. In effect, the Patrologiae Graeca was published more than a century after Alphonsus wrote his book.

  • Homily in 1 ad Chorintios:

Here the quote seems to be impossible to find. These homilies are in Volume 61 of the Patrologiae Graeca. Searching the text with some key words from the quote give some results but nothing close to the long one in Alphonsus's book. Did he made a mistake? Is the quote from somewhere else? Is the translation just very different? I know sufficiently little Latin to not being able to tell. Maybe you can find it.

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