By what has been cited out of Basil, the two Gregories and Ephraem, we may understand that Saint-worship was established among the Monks and their admirers in Egypt, Phoenicia, Syria and Cappadocia, before the year 378, this being the year in which Basil and Ephraem died. Chrysostom was not much later; he preached at Antioch almost all the time of Theodosius the great, and in his Sermons are many exhortations to this sort of superstition, as may be seen in the end of his Orations on S. Julia, on St.
Pelagia, on the Martyr Ignatius, on the Egyptian Martyrs, on Fate and Providence, on the Martyrs in general, on St. Berenice and St. Prosdoce, on Juventinus and Maximus, on the name of Cemetery, &c. Thus in his Sermon on Berenice and Prosdoce: Perhaps, saith he, you are inflamed with no small love towards these Martyrs; therefore with this ardor let us fall down before their relics, let us embrace their coffins. For the coffins of the Martyrs have great virtue, even as the bones of the Martyrs have great power. Nor let us only on the days of this festival, but also on other days apply to them, invoke them, and beseech them to be our patrons: for they have great power and efficacy, not only whilst alive, but also after death; and much more after death than before.
For now they bear the marks or brands of Christ; and when they shew these marks, they can obtain all things of the King. Seeing therefore they abound with such efficacy, and have so much friendship with him; we also, when by continual attendance and perpetual visitation of them we have insinuated ourselves into the familiarity, may by their assistance obtain the mercy of God.
Constantinople was free from these superstitions till Gregory Nazianzen came thither A.C. 379; but in a few years it was also inflamed with it.