April 18, 2018

Saint John, Disciple of the Saint Gregory of Decapolis

St. John, Disciple of St. Gregory the Decapolite (Feast Day - April 18)


Leap O John like John,
Not inside the womb, but in Eden.
On the eighteenth John was seen dead.

Our Holy Father John hated the things of this world from a young age, and loved Christ. For this reason he went to Saint Gregory of Decapolis (Nov. 20) at a monastery in Thessaloniki, and received the monastic tonsure from him. There he struggled in all things, serving the Lord. He was conspicuous for his obedience and submissiveness to such an extent, that the divine Gregory his spiritual father rejoiced and glorified God on account of him.

In around 832, Saint Gregory departed Thessaloniki with two of his disciples, our Saint John and Saint Joseph the Hymnographer (Apr. 3), and went to Constantinople, where they stayed either at the Antypas Church or the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, and visited the monastic community of Mount Olympus in Bithynia. There they raised opposition to Iconoclasm and fearlessly defended Orthodoxy.

When Saint Gregory fell asleep in the Lord at Constantinople in the year 842, the Venerable John migrated to a land strange and unknown to him, for the love of Christ who made Himself a stranger in a strange land. Then the thrice-blessed one traveled to Jerusalem where he venerated the Holy Places. After this he settled in the Lavra of Saint Chariton, where he increased his struggles on behalf of acquiring the virtues, and reposed in peace.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone
From thy youth thou wast a lover of Christ, and filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, thou didst follow thy call. Thy heart was pure, and thou didst live as an Angel on earth. Holy Father John, together with the Angels pray that we may be saved.

Kontakion in the First Tone
O blessed John, with the Lord's Cross on thy shoulder, thou didst climb to the peak of virtues. In place of passing pleasures thou didst attain to the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven.