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December 20, 2019

St. John of Kronstadt: A Prophet Who Raised the Dead

By Eugene Rose
(Lay Sermon delivered in October 1966)

The newly-canonized Saint of God, John of Kronstadt [1829-1908], whose feast we celebrate on October 19/November 1, is surely one of the greatest of Orthodox Saints. Even in his own lifetime he performed, by the power of God, countless miracles. For believing Christians he was a fervent intercessor, and he healed thousands of the afflicted, whose letters and telegrams reached him every day. He was a prophet as well, and he foretold the coming Divine chastisement of the Russian people for their sins. He prophesied of the dispersion of the Orthodox Russian people to every corner of the globe, where by their presence they would make Orthodoxy known to the unbelieving world, as well as of their return to the homeland before the end of the world. And like the Prophet Elisha in the Old Testament [II Kings 4:32-37] he performed even the most impossible of miracles – he raised the dead, thus testifying to the undiminished power of God, which works even in our own day through men of faith and holy life. The following miracle is related by Eugene Vadimov in the book of I.K. Sursky, Father John of Kronstadt:

The wife of O., while preparing to bear her fourth or fifth child, was taken seriously ill. Her doctors determined that the fetus had died and that a Caesarean section was required to remove it. But first the family sent a telegram to Fr. John of Kronstadt, whom they knew. Fr. John replied: "Leaving immediately, praying to God. John Sergiev."

The next day about noon he entered the O. apartment, where by that time a whole crowd of relatives and friends had gathered. "Where is Liza?" Fr. John asked, entering the drawing-room with his customary rapid gait. "Take me to her, and all of you remain here quietly."

Fr John entered the adjoining bedroom and closed the heavy doors after him. Minutes passed that seemed like half-hours. In the drawing-room it was quiet as a burial vault. And suddenly the bedroom doors were flung open with a loud noise. In the doorway stood a gray-haired old man in a priest's cassock, over which he had on an old stole with a thin, disheveled gray beard, with an extraordinary face that was red from the intense effort he had exerted at prayer and covered with great drops of sweat. And suddenly there almost thundered from Fr. John fearful terrible words, words that came from another world. "The Lord God has been please to work a miracle! He had been pleased to resurrect a dead child in the womb! Liza will bear a son!.."

"It's incomprehensible!" said one of the doctors who had come for the operation just two hours after Fr. John had left. "The fetus is alive ... I don't understand a thing about it, not a thing ... I affirmed and affirm now that the fetus was dead and that blood-poisoning began long ago." The other doctors understood no more.

The same night Mrs. O. was successfully and quickly delivered of a perfectly healthy boy.