that he always used it when he wished to describe his innermost identity. It was his fervent desire that he and all Christians might completely what their name meant (Rom.3.2; Magn. 4).
The main duty of the laity at that time was to oppose the sins of abortion and homosexuality and to combat greed and dishonesty in business life (Tertullian, Idol. 11 ff.). Thus every Christian, owing to his or her baptismal profession, risked martyrdom, which was considered the summit of perfection in the early church. In fact, lay people constituted the majority of martyrs.
Though called to be in the world, the laity of the Church of Antioch were also called not to be it. St. John Chrysostom challenged them by saying: "The holy scriptures want all to lead the life of monks, even if they are married" (Oppungn. 3.15). This definition of the lay person as "monk in the world" is based on the Christian virtues that the laity were obliged to practice. For example, the laywoman Martha (d. 551), mother of Simon Stylites the Younger, carried out extensive charitable work in her native city of Edessa in Syria. The Church Fathers often preached about the role of the laity, noting that the clergy alone cannot carry the burden, and that indeed many apostolic works cannot be carried on at all without the laity's help.