Δευτέρα, 8 Φεβρουαρίου 2016




Dear People,

I have read about this miracle before performed by St. John the Russian but not quite the way it is presented in a text that I discovered on a Greek web site a few days ago.   Since the geopolitical situation in the Middle East is in the midst of great chaos and the dangers of war are very real between Christian Russia and Muslim Turkey, I would like to share with you this miraculous story that happened right after the first Russo-Turkish War in the eighteenth century.  I believe that this story ties in with what  is happening today in that part of the world. We are dealing with profound spiritual issues in the Middle East  between the forces of darkness and the forces of Light.

St. John the Russian was born in Little Russia around 1690 and was raised in piety and love for the Church of God.  Upon attaining the age of maturity he was called to military service and he served as a simple soldier in the army of Peter I of Russia and took part in the Russo-Turkish War.  During the battle of Prutsk in 1711 he and other soldiers were captured by the Tartars who handed him over to the commander of the Turkish cavalry.  He took his Russian captive home with him to Asia Minor, to the village of Prokopi.  

The Turks tried to convert the Christian soldiers to the Muslim faith with threats and flattery, but those who resisted were beaten and tortured.  Some denied Christ and became Muslims.  St. John was not swayed by the promise of earthly delights and he bravely endured the humiliation and beatings.  His master tortured him often in the hope that his slave would accept Islam.  St. John resolutely resisted the will of his master saying, “You cannot turn me from my Holy Faith by threats, or with promises of riches and pleasures.   I will obey your orders willingly, if you will leave me free to follow my religion.  I would rather surrender my head to you than to change my faith, I was born a Christian and I shall die as a Christian.”

St. John’s bold words and firm faith, as well as his humility and meekness, finally softened the fierce heart of his master.  He left John in peace, and no longer tried to make him renounce Christianity.  The Saint lived in the stable and took care of his master’s animals, rejoicing because his bed was a manger such as the one in which the Savior was born.  From morning until late evening the Saint served his Turkish master fulfilling all his commands.  He performed his duties in the cold winter and hot summer, half naked and barefoot.  Other slaves frequently mocked him, seeing his Christian zeal.  St. John never became angry with them, but on the contrary, he helped them when he could and comforted them in their misfortune.  

The Saint’s kindness and gentle nature had its effect on the souls of both the master and the slaves.  The Agha and his wife came to love him and offered him a small room near the hayloft.  St. John did not accept it preferring to remain in the stable with the animals.  Here he slept on the hay covered only by an old coat.  So the stable became his hermitage, where he prayed and chanted Psalms.   Sometimes St. John would leave the stable at night and go to the Church of St. George the Great Martyr where he kept vigil in the narthex.  On Saturdays, Sunday and Feast Days he received Holy Communion.  By fervently living his Orthodox Christian Faith as a virtual ascetic, St. John received the gifts of the Holy Spirit and performed miracles.  (My note)  I urge you to look up the miracle that St. John performed for his master who had made a pilgrimage to Mecca.  This astounding miracle revealed to the Muslim world in which St. John lived that he had become a unique servant of Jesus Christ.  Toward the end of his difficult life St. John fell ill and sensed the end was near.  He summoned an Orthodox priest so that he could receive Holy Communion.  The priest, fearing to go to the residence of the Turkish commander openly with Holy Communion, hid the life-giving Body and Blood of Jesus in an apple and in this way St. John received Holy Communion.  

St. John reposed in the Lord on May 27, 1730.  When they reported to the master that his servant John had died, he summoned the Orthodox priest and gave him the body of St. John for a Christian burial.  Three and a half years later the priest was miraculously informed in a dream that the relics of St. John had remained incorrupt.  Soon the relics of the Saint were transferred to the Church of St. George the Great Martyr and placed in a special reliquary. The new Saint of God began to be glorified by countless miracles of grace accounts of which spread to the remote cities and villages of Asia Minor.  The new Saint came to be venerated not only by Orthodox Christians but also by Armenians, and even the Turks, who prayed to the Russian Saint, “Servant of God, in your mercy do not disdain us.” 

The original Greek text of the miracle of St. John was translated by:
+Fr. Constantine J. Simones in Waterford, CT, February 6, 2016, 860-460-9089, cjsimones300@gmail.com  

Mr. Constantine Polychroniou was praying and crying for two straight hours.  He had worked for the government of Greece as a high government official.  He was crying at the reliquary of St. John the Russian in Procopi, Evvoia, Greece. He was only wearing his pajamas and a taxi was waiting for him at the northern entrance to the Church. When Constantine had finished his mystical conversation with St. John the Russian; he slowly walked away in his sleepers toward the Church’s exit.  As he moved away, a priest asked him why he was crying for such a long time.  The priest wanted to know why he was not dressed properly and why he came to the Church in his pajamas.   The priest also asked him if he needed a room in the Church guest house in order to rest.  He answered: “No father, the Saint has given me plenty of rest after so many years of suffering.  He is the miracle-working doctor and you here at his Church faithfully serve him.”

“This morning, my wife visited me at the Annunciation Hospital in Athens.  It has been more than ten years since I have been able to stand on my feet as you see that I am now doing.  I suffered a disease in my nervous system.  It was a sickness that made me infirm and I lost my government job.  I was forced to take an early retirement and ended up in the hospital.  By the second year of my infirmity I suffered 80% paralysis of my lower extremities.

“My paralysis, the resulting psychological depression, the termination of my employment literally led me to the doors of death.  Well, this morning at the hospital, my wife found me sleeping when she came to visit me.  She did not wake me up.  She quietly sat next to my bed in a chair.  Not long after sitting down, she fell asleep.   While sleeping she had a dream in which she saw doctors in the adjoining room having a meeting.  Amongst these doctors she saw a doctor that she had not seen before.   My wife approached him and said to him:” ‘Doctor, are you new to this hospital for it is the first time that I see you here?  Do me a favor, my husband is in the next room and he has been paralyzed for more than ten years.  The doctors have told me that I am losing my companion in life.  My husband is dying.  Please visit him doctor and say some words of encouragement to him.’  

The unknown doctor said to her, ‘you go ahead and I will come and see your husband.’  ‘Okay doctor, but please first tell me your name and I will be waiting for you.’  He answered saying: ‘My name is John the Russian.’  “Upon hearing this, the woman woke up jumping up from her chair.  At this point my wife was seeing me trying to get up from my bed using my elbows. I said to her, dear wife, help me, someone is holding me by my armpits and is helping me get up.  Please come also and help. I got up firmly walking on the floor. My wife’s crying alerted the doctors and the nursing staff who came running into the room.  

“The doctor who was in charge of that department was a fervent Christian.  He was astounded at the story that my wife told him.  This doctor turned to me and admonished me saying: ‘Mr Polychroniou, leave here just as you are in your pajamas. Take a taxi at the entrance of the hospital and go directly to the spiritual hospital.   This spiritual hospital is located at the Church of St. John the Russian which is found in the green valley of Procopi, Evvoia.  You will find the complete incorrupt remains of Saint John there.  Go to him and thank him for the miracle and then return to the hospital for your dismissal papers.  This time which rarely happens your dismissal papers will be signed by a Saint and not by a doctor.’

The doctor said, “As a Christian and as a scientist what I have said about this incident I truly believe.  That which is greater than science is the almighty power of God and His Holy Saints.” “Father, this is what the doctor said to us.  We ask you too father to give us your blessing.”  ‘This is what this blessed man said to me while he was crying.   He was thanking the Saint for his healing.  Fortunate people like these who are sick in hospitals and institutions of healing are waiting for an angelic host, for a saint, for the Lord Himself to stir up the waters of Siloam to receive their healing.   These ailing people are patiently waiting to enter that mystery which is known as spiritual healing which happens on occasion to people.  It comes to people that God selects on His own terms, which are often unknown to us.’  


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