John the Russian

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St. John the Russian
Close up of the saint's relics

The holy Saint John the Russian (1690-1730) was enslaved by the Turks, but lived his life in holy humility and miracles. Foreseeing his end, John called for a priest and asked to partake of the immaculate mysteries. The priest was afraid to openly bring the Eucharist into the stable. Being divinely inspired, he dug the core out of an apple and lined the cavity with beeswax and palced the communion inside. He then visited the Saint at the stables and gave him the Communion. After receiving the communion, John fell asleep in the Lord on May 27, 1730 - he was about forty years old. His feast day is commemorated by the Church on May 27.

Monastery of St. John the Russian (Euboea)

The relics were brought to the village of Prokopion in Euboea by refugees from Ürgüp in Cappadocia, after the Asia Minor Disaster of 1922-24. For several decades the relics were in the church of Ss. Constantine and Helen at New Prokopion, Euboia, and in 1951 they were transferred to a new church dedicated to St John the Russian (within the new Monastery of Saint John the Russian). St. John's body is small, and he is clothed in a garment similar to an altar server. His face is dark and is covered by a gold mask; one of his exposed hands is also quite dark. Thousands of pilgrims flock here from all the corners of Greece, particularly on his feast day (May 27).

St. John the Russian is widely venerated on Mount Athos, particularly in the Russian monastery of St. Panteleimon.

Hymns

Troparion, in Tone 4

He that hath called thee from earth unto the heavenly abodes doth even after thy death keep thy body unharmed, O righteous one; for thou wast carried off as a prisoner into Asia wherein also, O John, thou didst win Christ as thy friend. Wherefore do thou beseech him that our souls be saved.

Kontakion, in tone 4

The holy memory, O righteous father, of thine illustrious contests hath come today gladdening the souls of those who venerate thee with reverence and faith, O John,

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