St John was born around 1690 in the south of Russia to pious Orthodox parents. Upon reaching maturity he was called to service in the army of Peter I, to serve as a simple soldier. During the Prutsk campaign of the Russo-Turkish war he was taken prisoner. As the case then, he ended up as
the slave of the Turkish cavalry commander who took John to the his home in the village of Prokopion, near Caesarea in Asia Minor.
As the cavalry commander prospered, he understood his blessings and prosperity came through his servant John, and
he this noted to his fellow citizens.
Foreseeing his end, John called for a [[priest]] from the church he had attended and asked to partake of the [[Eucharist|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 placed the communion inside. He then visited the saint at the stables and gave him Communion. After receiving communion, John fell asleep in the Lord on May 27, 1730. He was about forty years old.<ref name="stjohntherussian">[http://www.stjohntherussian.com/stjohnlife.html The Life of Saint John the Russian]</ref>