December 20, 2022

How Saint John of Kronstadt Explained To a Group of Priests His Miraculous Power

At a meeting with priests in Nizhny Novgorod in 1901 and Sarapul in 1904, [Saint John of Kronstadt] opened his soul about this gift of God and told how the healing of the sick began. On that occasion he said:

In your souls, fellow ministers, the question undoubtedly arises, how dare I travel all over Russia, to pray for so many people who beg for my prayers. Maybe someone will call it impudence... But I, brothers, would not have decided on such a great work, if I had not been called to it from above... This is how it started.

Someone got sick in Kronstadt. They asked for my help through prayer. I had a rule: not to refuse anyone's request. I began to pray, handing the sick man over into God's hands, asking the Lord to do His holy will on him. But unexpectedly, an old woman, whom I have known for a long time, came to me. She was deeply pious, God-fearing, lived according to Christian principles and spent her life in the fear of God. She comes to me and persistently demands that I pray for the sick person, and for his recovery. I remember, at that time, I was almost afraid of such a request: "How can I," I thought, "have such freedom?" However, the old woman firmly believed in the power of my prayer and persistently tried her best. I then confessed before the Lord my nothingness and my sinfulness, saw in it the will of God and began to ask the Lord to heal the sick. And the Lord sent him His mercy - he got well, and I thanked the Lord for that mercy.

The healing happened again a second time after my prayers. Then I saw in it the will of God, a new obedience given to me by God - to pray for those who will demand it from me. Now I also know, and others also say, that healings happen through my prayers.

The healings of the insane, demon possessed, and severe sufferers are particularly devastating. Such patients are usually very restless: they utter terrible blasphemies and words without connection or meaning; they spit, kick and snatch from their companions. When they are detained, they always close their eyes. But I command them to open their eyes. Sometimes I have to repeat several times: "Open your eyes!" At the same time, I direct my gaze at him, and when he opens his eyes, I, looking into his eyes, say: "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I command you, unclean spirit, come out of him!" and I bless the sick with the cross. The patient regains consciousness, calms down and begins to pray. I then give him communion with the Holy Mysteries, from which before that he was running away with all his might. After being cured, such patients do not remember what they said in their rage. From this it is clear that in a state of rage they did not manifest their will, but the demonic will. Often, evil spirits keep their power over the sick for a long time, they resist for a long time and say through the sick: "We have settled in him, we gained power over him (the patient) a long time ago." But the power of God, which makes the evil spirits tremble, defeats them.

Oh, my brothers, we have been given many graces by God, and if we preserve this gift of God, we are invincible.
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.