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October 19, 2017

On the Occasion of the Glorification of Saint John of Kronstadt (St. John Maximovitch)

Righteous John, Wonderworker of Kronstadt
19 October/1 November

On the Occasion of his Glorification

By Saint John, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice!
A new God-pleaser is being glorified by the Church.

A new intercessor and mediator for sinful men has openly appeared in heaven. Not from the present day has he become a saint. From the day of his removal to the Kingdom of Heaven he entered into the choir of the saints, and with them he mediates for them that turn to him for help. With them he glorifies the Creator and delights in inexpressible joy. Already for a long time, even during his life, many have been venerating him as a God-pleaser. The miracles performed by him testified to this. But that was only the opinion of feeling of individual persons, and panichidas were performed for him, as for ordinary people. Now, though, the Church states:

"Truly this is one of God's elect. Truly this is a righteous man and mediator for us before God." The earthly Church celebrates, and all the holy angels and God-pleasers make glad with her. Among them there is no envy or division. When one of them is glorified, they all rejoice with him. And they rejoice not so much over the honor rendered to him, as over the fact that through him men are turning to God. They rejoice over the fact that men from the sinful world are turning their mental gaze toward heaven. Let us lift up our spiritual eyes and we shall behold John in heavenly glory.

Who is he? He is a great righteous man. His whole life he tried to keep God's commandments and to do everything as God has commanded. He is a reverent sacred minister of the Church. Not by inheritance did he become a priest, as did the Old Testament priests, but by sincerely striving to serve God. He fervently raised up prayers to God, assiduously kept the church regulations, was truly an image and example for all sacred ministers. That is also why his prayer was effectual. He was the incarnation of mercy, took pity on everyone, helped everyone. No only did he respond to requests for help, but he himself sought out the needy. He condescended to everyone, strove to help everyone, giving material, worldly alms to some, raising up others from a sinful fall and enriching them with spiritual gifts. He was also a stern denouncer of human sins, like unto the Prophet Elias and John the Baptist, not fearing to speak the truth openly to someone's face. Kind to the repentant, no matter how great their sins were, he could not bear obstinacy in sin.

A great wonderworker, he filled the whole world with his miracles, like unto Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, while by his teachings he edifies everyone going along God's way. A clairvoyant, who saw what was within those who came to him, what their life was, and who gave saving councils to each, at the end of his earthly life he had already become a prophet, who foresaw the coming calamities, if repentance and correction of life did not ensue. Let us then cry out to him now, when before everyone he has shown forth in the spiritual heaven: "Pray for us, righteous Father John; turn us all to the way of salvation, and deliver thine and our fatherland from the calamities that have come upon it according to thy prophecy, that joyfully we may cry out to thee: Rejoice, O righteous Father John, most wondrous wonderworker and intercessor for us before God! Holy righteous Father John, save us by thy prayers!"

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone (composed by Archbishop John Maximovitch of San Francisco)
O Wonderworker living in Christ forever, with love have mercy on those in danger; hear thy children who call upon thee with faith; be compassionate to those who hope for aid from thee, O Father John of Kronstadt, our beloved shepherd.