September 13, 2018

Saint John of Prislop

Saint John of Prislop, locally known as Saint John of Silvas, became a monk at a young age in the Prislop Monastery, then known as Silvas Monastery, in southwestern Romania at the turn of the sixteenth century. After several years in that place, he went into the mountains five hundred meters from the monastery to lead a solitary ascetical life, struggling against the assaults of the demons.

There John sat in a cave he dug himself with a chisel, on the bank of the Silvret River. The place is known to this day as "Chilia" or "The House of the Saint", and it has become a place of pilgrimage for Christians. In this cave, the Saint spent his life in increased asceticism, and he also found his end. According to the local tradition, while Saint John was making a window in his cell, he was shot with an arrow and killed by two hunters on the other side of the creek, who mistook him for a wild animal.

The Saints' relatives took his body and placed him in the church in his native village. The fame of his holiness John had acquired since the time of his life, and many godly Christians sought his spiritual counsels; and when news of his death came in Wallachia, several monks from the monastery asked the relatives for the Saint's body to bury him with honors in their monastery, as shown in a local chronicle in verse, "Complaint of the Holy Silvas Monastery of the Diocese of Hateg from Prislop", written by a certain monk Ephraim. A part of the relics of Saint John is still found at Prislop Monastery. He was glorified by the Orthodox Church of Romania on June 20-21, 1992.