December 3, 2022

Saint John the Hesychast: A Bishop Who Was Led By a Bright Star to the Lavra of Saint Savvas

When our Venerable Father John served as Bishop of Kolonia, he continued to live by the strict rules of a monk in regard to his asceticism, fasting and prayer. Having considered the hustle and bustle of this world, Saint John decided to leave the episcopacy, and went to the holy city of Jerusalem to serve God in silence, solitary prayer and asceticism. Therefore, after performing the divine service, he dismissed the presbyters and clerics who were with him, so that no one knew, he went to the sea dock, got into a ship and traveled to the holy city of Jerusalem. Arriving there, he went to the first hospital of the holy city, where there was a prayer house in the name of the holy great martyr George, and spent some time there as one of the beggars. Observing the commotion of the people, blessed John grieved greatly; and longing for a quiet and lonely place, he prayed to God with tears to show him a suitable, quiet and comfortable place for salvation. And one night, when he was fervently praying about it, he looked up and saw there suddenly appeared a brilliant star in the form of a cross; it was approaching him, and he heard a voice from the light of the star saying: "If you want to be saved, follow this light." - And he immediately followed it with joy, and was led by that star to the great Lavra of our Venerable and God-bearing Father Savvas, in the thirty-eighth year of his life, at the time of the patriarch Sallustius of Jerusalem.