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Comments in 2006
September 25, 2006 St. John Heals a Child's Tumor

Note: The following is translated to the best of my ability from the Greek original as it appeared in the magazine "Monastic Expression" Issue no. 14 by the nuns of the Monastery Of St. Nektarios, Trikorfon Fokidos, Greece. Demetrius Lymberopoulos

A recent moving miracle account by St. John Maximovitch

A few days ago a young mother, Mrs. Ioanna, visited our monastery with her little child, Vasiliki, asking for the intercession of our Saints because her child was showing early signs of unstable walk. Having in our possession the robe of St. John Maximovitch as a valuable blessing, we crossed the child with the robe and we gave the mother some oil from his burial tomb to anoint the child and ask for the assistance of the miracle worker, St. John. The doctors diagnosed the child with "astrokoitoma," a malignant tumor in the brain the size of a chickpea. The child went for surgery but the parents did not stop to ask for the intercession of our Saints, St. John and St. Nektarios.

On the day that this issue of our magazine was ready to go for publishing, Mrs Ioanna and little Vasiliki came to our monastery to have the ceremony of the five loaves, artoklasia, and to thank S. John. The following is an account of what had happened as it was given to us by Mrs Ioanna in our guestroom "arxontariki".

I saw in my sleep that I came in your monastery, I pushed the black iron gate and I came in. I opened another door and I found myself in front of an Altar table that was very poor and humble. In front of the altar with his back towards me was standing a priest who was not moving. The liturgy was celebrated by another priest. On my right hand on the wall there was hand painted frescoes of saints and among them the icon of the "frozen in place" priest. I said to the priest who was celebrating the liturgy that I came to pray for my sick child but he told me to be quiet and to lean on the fresco of the "frozen in place" priest and to pray there. I started touching the fresco of the Saint starting from the face and when I reached the bottom edge of his robes and I crossed myself suddenly the room was bathed in a very strong and plentiful light. The light was so strong that it covered everything except of the face of the Saint. In the meantime I felt as if his robe was becoming alive under my hands. I turn towards the "frozen in place" priest that was standing in front of the altar and at the same time he turned towards me alive and told me: "Your faith has awakened me". Right away I asked him what I have to do to save my child. He grabbed my arms and he started shaking me so hard while praying that in the morning when I woke up my arms were hurting. When he finished praying he said "Now your little one will come in and she will be fine".

In that moment my little girl came in full with such energy and life as she was before she went in for surgery. I was so amazed so I run and embraced my child while saying to the elder: "Thank you my little uncle...thank you". And he said to me: "I am not your little uncle, I am St. John Maximovitch. I am not asking anything of you, the only thing I want is for you to say many times a day the prayer, Lord Jesus Christ, our hope, glory to you."

Then I called all my relatives and we were praying with fervor of heart and faith while the Saint continued to celebrate the Liturgy. I felt a tremendous relief and a feeling that it is surely difficult to describe in words, a feeling so strong that it left a strong mark in my memory. I felt him so alive and loving and so close that I asked him: "Now that I found you I would like to know how Paradise is". He put his arm around my shoulder and walked me to a door at the end of a corridor he showed me an old lady that was carrying a bundle of wood on her back and told me: "You are going to pass her by, you will turn right and there you will find the place that we are." He named the place "after the Lygia" (ed. note: the "Lygias" is a location before our monastery).

My dream ended recalled Ioanna very emotional but the medical tests for my daughter, the brain scan came out clean. "St John is a miracle wonderworker and he surely protects and intercedes for all the children that he especially loves as I read in his life."
August 9, 2006 St. John touches Romanians

Bless me, Fr. Jacob!

I am Mihaela Raluca and I am from Romania. I found out on the Internet the website dedicated from Saint John Maximovitch . He is my favorite saint. A few years ago, I wanted to write a book about the miracles who Saint John Maximovitch did in Romania.I know about just 2 miracles which I told you.

First Story

Two years ago I told my friend Claudia about Saint John Maximovitch and I gave her a book about his life. After this she left in piligrimage to the monastaries in Romania. One day she felt bad, she had headeache (I mean she sufferd by head). She prayed to Saint John Maximovitch in this way:
Saint John Maximovitch help me to health and send me one sign from you.

She became healthy and came back in Bucharest.

During the time Claudia left, another friend of mine, Diana come back from America and Diana gave me wonderfull gifts: holy oil from Saint John Maximovitch; an icon with Saint John Maximovitch (ST. JOHN, Wonderworker of Shanghai & San Francisco, at Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church, San Francisco); and a piece of ribbon that was touched to the relics of Saint John Maximovitch. I was very glad.

Claudia come back. She didnít know about my gift from Diana. She didnít know that I have a friend who was in America. When I spoke with her on the phone I said the first:

Claudia, I have good news. My friend Diana come back from America and gave me holy oil from Saint John Maximovitch, an icon with Saint John Maximovitch and a pice of ribbon. I will give you oil and ribbon and I made from you a copy after icon. Claudia said me: I feel like crying. A few days ago I asked Saint to sent me a sign. And then told me the story who you know.

The Second

Magdalena went to Constanta (a town in Romania) with her ex husbend because he implored her to accompany him. They arrived on a Saturday. Magdalena asked him to accompany her the next day to Divine Liturgy. He said that he is tired and he canít wake up in the morning to go with her. But she prayed to Saint John Maximovitch to send her ex husbend to the Liturgy.

During the service [the next day] she kneeled, and at the end she saw her ex husband. He told Magdalena that he woke up in the morning because he couldnít sleep, so he had come to the service.

Mihaela
BUCHAREST
ROMANIA

July 17, 2006 Cancer overcome through St. John's Prayers

In March 2005 my 13 year old daughter, 15 year old son, husband and myself went to San Francisco for vacation. We went to the Cathedral to venerate St John's relics. The next morning we received a call that the biopsy from a lump recently removed from our son's upper arm (which during the surgery was declared benign) was in fact a very rare slow growing malignant cancer. Unfortunately, the physician included that because of the original benign report he, in fact, did not clean out all the tissue from the muscle and a portion of the section left in was in fact the malignant part.

We attended the Friday service to St. John, proceeded home and applied Saint John's oil daily. On Good Friday, the arm was reopened and not only was the original six hour surgery completed in three, but muscle tissue did not have to be taken from his back, skingrafts originally anticipated were avoided and the tissue report came back totally and completely clean of any abnormal tissue.

Glory to God and His Saints!

Marina Huff
July 10, 2006 Visit to St. John's Tomb

My trip to visit St. John's relics was incredible! St. John truly is a wonderworker!

He orchestrated the entire trip for me, beginning to end. You see I had gotten a free voucher for a round trip plan ticket on my return from a visit to St. Anthony's in Arizona, which in retrospect was a wonderful gift from God for it allowed me to see St. John.

One of the most astounding things I noticed about being near his incorrupt relics was that I found prayer and tears flowed more easily the closer I was to him. I think naturally one is hesitant when in close proximity to a dead body, but not when it is St. John. I found I felt comfortable and safe when I was near him. He made me marvel at the glory of God. I could even see his fingernails. The day I arrived was the 40th anniversary of his death, and the 12th anniversary of his canonization. He wanted me to come and see him on his day. But the majesty of course didn't stop at seeing his incorrupt body.

God made it so that I met a wonderful Priest Monk, Fr. James. He brought me to where St. John served at the Old Cathedral and we did a service to him, I am uncertain of the exact word but I know it involved an Akathist to him and prayers for us; there was a Greek family with us who were wonderful as well. Fr. wrapped us in St. John's... well I forget the word for this as well, but it is an outer robe I've seen him wear in pictures and icons; it's purple. This was incredible. The relics I was able to venerate were incredible as well. St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory of Nassianus, St. Ignatius, and the Apostles Sts. Andrew and Barthalmeow, there were more but their names escape me presently.

After this glorious service God made it so that Fr. was able to take me to see St. Tychon's. This little chapel was so beautiful. He showed me two icons that have renewed themselves! (Glory be to God!) And he showed me the icon of the Mother of God the milk giver (I think this is the proper name) which St. John prayed in front of many times. The most special and intimate though was when Fr. took me into St. John's cell. His own cell! What glory. I saw his simple, humble dwelling. Where he prayed, studied, slept, and most likely shed many tears. I saw his icon corner, his books, the photograph of his parents, who by the way we all ought to pray for as Fr. James informed me. St. John said those who pray for his parents, he will pray for. I even got to sit in the chair where he rested for only an hour or so a night. I prayed in his own chair. Then Fr. gave me a beautiful medallion with St. John on one side and his churches in Shanghai and Brussels on the back.

All of this strengthened my resolve that through the prayers of St. John and my Spiritual Father sinners will be converted unto Him. God provides so much for us, and He lets us see His majesty through the deification of His saints. What glory awaits those who have come to know, love, and follow Christ's commandments. May we share in the glory of God with all His saints and angels, through the prayers of St. John.

Pray for me a sinner who has yet to experience first hand what it is to know Christ, to love Him with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength.

In Christ,
Connie.

July 2, 2006 Healing through the Prayers of St. John
It is difficult to express or find the words for what St. John the Wonderworker means to me. He is part of my everyday life and I begin just about every day praying to him and asking for his intercessions. To me he is almost like breathing. Not that I take him for granted, but he is so intertwined with my life it is hard to think of specifics.

However, being a "quick to hear" intercessor, St. John himself provided me with something to share here. I have not been feeling particularly well the last month or so. The Saturday, July 1, I had been feeling particularly fatigued but didn't really know what was going on with me. Just before leaving to go to service I realized I was probably coming down with a cold. By the time I arrived at Church I was hot, even more tired, and just hoping to make it through. As I venerated at the shrine of St. John I laid my head on his robe which had been uncovered and just quickly asked him to intercede for me for healing. I would say in very short order I was feeling better and certainly after about 15 minutes or so felt better than I had all week. Sunday morning, St. John's feast day, getting up out of bed was no difficulty, and I didn't feel fatigued hardly at all. Even as I write this now I feel better than I have in quite awhile.

What a joy to be a part of a parish with such a Patron. He truly looks out for his flock!

Glory to God and thanks to the prayers of our holy Hierarch John!

David
June 30, 2006 St. John Blesses a Catechumen

I just wanted to share with you how St. John is currently workig in my life.

I am presently a cathecuman and on returning from a recent visit with my Spirital Father in Arinona, who at the time instructed me to prayer to Saint John for the conversion of my husdand, I received a free round-trip ticket voucher to anywhere in the US. But being very busy and perparing to move to Asia I was unable to find any avilable flights. Having given up the hope of getting to use the ticket, just the other night I was reading about St. John and about the blind woman who had her sight restored I thought to myself "if only I could go see St. John everything would be alright." So I told St. John that if he wanted me to visit him to sort things out and make it happen.

The next day I checked for flights to San Francisco and I found a flight that will arrive there on July 2nd and return on the 4th. At the time I did not know that July 2nd was the anniversary of his death and canonization, but I did know that he had ochestrated the whole thing. I was then able to get ahold of my very busy Spiritual Father who gave me his blessing. So tomorrow I set out for San Francisco. And I will spend all the time there "complaining" to St. John and beseeching him to pray for all my loved ones, especially my husband. Perhaps on my return I will write again of all the wonders I will experience when I see St. John.

Pray for me a sinner.

July 2, 2006 St. John Heals a Young Boy

Our abbot gave a small sermon on Saint John [on his feast day], mainly about his simplicity and humbleness, and how his mitres were not of gold and expensive stones, but out of cardboard [St. John's orphan children made him a cardboard mitre]. He also mentioned that when his monastery began no one new who Saint Seraphim of Sarov was, and now all of Greece knows him through his monastery. He said that's what will happen with Saint John. He also talked about Saint John's robe and how it has performed many miracles and here's one of them:

A young boy from Patra, who visits the summer camps my Abbot is in charge of , was in a bad car accident, in coma, and the doctors said that there no chance he will live. Well my abbot went to the hospital and placed Saint John's robe on top of him. and he chanted his troparion. Well, after a week or so John, the boy's name, started moving his hands. He was getting better everyday and now is 100% well. When he left the hospital he told my abbot that he saw Saint John while he was unconscious and Saint John told him"Don't be afraid, you will get well and leave the hospital, but you must pray to God. John asked Saint John, who are you Father, and he replied I'm Saint John Maximovitch.

What a great miracle!!

Sr. Ioanna
St. Nectarios Monastery, Greece

June 11, 2006 "St. John helps a Student"

Bless me Father,

I found the website with miracles that St. John Maximovitch has worked through his holy prayers - http://www.saintjohnwonderworker.org/visitors_book_2006.htm - and I'd like to share with you an experience that I had. It may seem small to most people, but it was a big deal to me. I am a convert to the Orthodox faith living in the United States.

Throughout the winter 2006 school year, I was slacking off incredibly in my college statistics class. I had gotten an "A" on the first test, but after this, I stopped studying for the subject, did none of the assigned homeworks, and basically doodled in class. It was very stupid of me to do so, and at the time I convinced myself that it was because I was busy with other things, but the reality is that I was being lazy and procrastinating. The few times that I actually perked up my ears in class to listen to the professor and see what he was writing on the board, I barely recognized what he was talking about. If he had asked me any questions, I would have had to walk out of the classroom. Conveniently enough, I always walked in late to class, sat near the door, and stayed in the back. Eventually, I just stopped going to lecture. I would show up every once in a while after being pressured by my friends or so the professor would at least see me once in a while, but going to class was not my priority. The second test came around, and I got a 50, and then on the third test, and I got 56. Mind you, this professor was very lenient, and he would try his best to give you some credit if you even looked like you were headed in the right direction. But in my papers, nearly half the questions were blank. I might as well have taken a test in 14th century Mandarin-Chinese grammar!

By the end of the semester, I knew that there was distinct possibility that I might fail the class for a second time. I felt foolish for treating my studies this way and for wasting my time and my money (since I pay for my own schooling). I was angry at my self because the extra "relief" or pleasure that I may have gotten from avoiding work was not worth it compared to the consequences I would suffer later. And finally, I knew I had to do better than this or my GPA would suffer and I would have little chances of getting into a decent grad program after school. Perhaps the worse aspect was that the sinful nature of my laziness had already pricked my conscience before, and I had brought it to confession. These sins (laziness, irresponsibility, procrastination, and despondency) were something that I had struggled with for years and even verbally repented of and been absolved for, but that I kept turning back to them like a dog to its vomit. I purposed it in my heart to do better during finals week.

The problem was that I had all my other class finals to study for. I dedicated myself to these, and ignored statistics. After all, it was the last final of the week. I did well in these finals and secured "A" grades in all my classes, but it was Thursday and my statistics final exam was on Friday. I didn't know what to do. I had to review material from the first few chapters in order to refresh my memory, and I had to LEARN the remaining chapters within less than 24 hours. In other words, I had to do in less than a day what usually takes 10 weeks! I was also quite guilty of my sin. I was afraid to ask God for help. After all, why would He reward my sin with His grace? If I put off my responsibilities and He gave me strength in the end, wouldn't this be an unfair reward for my bad behavior? Finally, I concluded that it didn't matter. I never deserved God's rewards and He gave them to me anyway, so I threw myself at His mercy. I prayed:

"Oh Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercessions of St. John of San Francisco and also of Thy pure Mother, help me!

After I finished my prayers, I began reading and working out statistics exercises on paper. To my great surprise, my ability to concentrate and my power or reasoning and memory was incredibly focused. I wouldn't be overstating things if I told you that I have never been able to grasp, absorb, and retain information with such amazing ability. My mind was working a mile a minute even though I was tired from a week's worth of studying and a long day at work. I couldn't really attribute it to fear or nervousness, because I've been scared and nervous before and that never changed my ability to think. As I read the examples in my book, I was almost jumping to the author's conclusion without finishing the sentence! The other thing I noticed was that time seemed to be passing so slowly. When I looked at my computer's clock in the lower right hand corner, I noticed it was only 2 am and I had already read, understood, and finished all the practice problems of three whole sections. I kept saying in my mind, "Glory to Thee, O Lord, Glory to Thee," and "Glory to Jesus Christ, Glory to Him Forever."

As the night (actually the early morning at this point) went on, I caught myself yawning a bit and feeling tension in my neck muscles. Whenever this happened, I mentally recited the Jesus Prayer and looked at my icon shelf for "support". By the time the morning light was coming through my window, I had nearly finished the material even though I did not slept for about 24 hours. I got washed up and ready for school later on in the morning, and I was in class and ready for the test packet even before many of the other students had shown up. I worked through the test efficiently and quickly. I later found that I got a 90% on the test- in a subject that I had basically taught myself within a night's time!

What's more, I was able to retake the third test and scored a 101% on it (my grade over 100% was due to my completion of the difficult bonus material on the test). My final grade in the class turned out to be an "A". When I think of how lost I was and how much I avoided the work in this class, it almost seems like a dream. I've truly retained this material as well. Statistics is now one of my favorite subjects, and I hope to pursue it further with a few more courses and more complicated material (like a course in bivariate statistics and an attempt at more complex issues in probability). I could tutor the class with confidence.

I don't want to make it seem like God is some cosmic Santa Claus who gives us presents when ask nicely for them. I also don't want to make it seem like we can avoid our responsibilities and commit acts of sin as long as we get a guilt trip at the end and ask for God not to punish us. I honestly just cast myself on God's mercy and He answered me. Perhaps it was so I could learn to appreciate His mercy for us even when we *DON'T* deserve it. All I know is that:

  • God showed me mercy, and without this mercy I would have had to turn in a blank paper
  • St. John Maximovitch is a mighty intercessor with boldness before the Throne of God, and he hears our petitions and brings them as incense before God Himself
  • Even though I plan to study more diligently in the future and fight my tendency towards laziness, I know that I will begin and end my study sessions with prayer and trust more in God than in my own abilities. After all, "Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it."

Kissing your right hand,

Julio the sinner

January 20, 2006 "A True Story from Ireland"

Glory to God and thanks to St. John the Wonderworker!

The first time I heard of St. John the Wonderworker was when I was heavily pregnant with Anne-Marie in June 1997. I had travelled by bus(ses) from Belfast, Northern Ireland (U.K.) to a little Orthodox chapel in Stradbally, County Leish, in the heart of the Republic of Ireland as this was at that time the only Russian Orthodox Church on the whole island of Ireland.

It was an unlikely journey to take in my heavily pregnant state, considering I was Lutheran and my husband and children so far were Catholic, but I felt very strongly that the child I was carrying was Orthodox, as she had been announced during prayer in front of a Russian Orthodox Icon of St. John the Baptist and conceived later on the same day. I was thus making contact with Orthodox clergy to enquire about the possibility of Orthodox baptism for her.

Anne-Marie was not granted Orthodox baptism, and she has gone on to heaven before us after a truly inspiring life on earth of not quite three years, but she opened the door to my reception into the Church. (I have written a manuscript about all the wonderous and inspiring circumstances surrounding her life and how she brought me to Orthodoxy, called 'Anne-Marie. a Child of God,' - maybe someone out there could recommend a publisher to help it become a book?)

On that first visit when visiting the chapel I was struck intensely by only one icon. It was as if the saint depicted on it was vibrantly looking at me. In fact it felt as though he was going to speak to me - it felt nearly as though I should cup my hands behind my ears to hear better, saying, yes, -what was it you wanted to say to me? Only I did not hear anything. It was an experience I cannot forget. I was told that this was an icon of St John the Wonderworker. I knew in my heart he was special to me.

After a while the Orthodox Church arrived in Belfast, a little while later, I was able to get an icon of the same Saint here, which I treasure. This is the icon we have at home here, depicting St John with his right hand lifted for blessing --

I was received into the Church by baptism on the day after the baptisn of our Lord, on the synaxis feast day of St. John the Baptist, my patron Saint (as Anne-Marie had 'come through' his icon) in the river Jordan having stayed with the nuns on the Mount of Olives for about a week. On my last evening there Just as I was settling down to the idea of going for a short night's sleep I met - on my way to or from the bathroom - a nun who had only just arrived.: Alexandra.

We had a lot to chat about. She had known Vladyka John since she had been a little girl until her twenties. He had been her spiritual father. She told me numerous most memorable stories about him and that she founded a ladies' monatery in his honour in Siberia - showing me the photos of it and inviting me to visit. Again he felt so close, so special to me.

In October of 2005 we had a very welcome visitor, Sr. Seraphima, one of the nuns from the mount of Olives, staying with our family for a while and travelling around the holy sites of Ireland. Then in November while Sister Seraphima was still here, my second son, Pascal, at that time aged 11 was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a lymph cancer. She selflessly cut a tiny piece of cloth of one of St. John's cloaks which she had with her in two, and left half of it with us for Pascal.

My memory of the diagnosis and the following chemotherapy treatment is like going back into a heavy cloud, within which the simple faith of my son and two icons were outstanding towers of strength to me: One of Our Lord, and the other of St John the Wonderworker. It felt like these were to be the main tools to help Pascal enter into the fullness of his name - which we had given him as he had been born at Easter time- after going through Good Friday suffering.

Also around that time, a friend lent me the inspiring book about St. John the wonderworker with a wealth of true life accounts of what had happened through him in different situations. Unexpectedly a new arrival to Northern Ireland also gave us a tiny little icon of St John, which had been with his body in San Francisco.

It all added up to St John being the special Saint to accompany us through the valley of the shadow of death. We promised him, that if all was to turn out well, we would travel to San Francisco in his honour. (We are presently planning this journey.) Every evening we prayed with the icon of St John. I had explained to Pascal, that St John had his hand lifted in the act of blessing him, and that he loved children, and so Pascal spent some silent time engrossed in looking at the icon every night 'to receive his blessing.' He still continues this practice every night.

Until some months after the last treatment I also spent some time engrossed in looking at St.John's icon every night of the journey while also laying my hands on Pascal, often with the relic left by Sr Seraphima, mostly directly on his skin. I most often felt heat and tingling in my hands, which I attributed to the power of the Holy Spirit coming through them through the prayers of St. John the Wonderworker.

Of course we were given many icons of other Saints as well and there were also many people praying for Pascal, and still are - thank God - as the medical profession does not speak of healing until five years have passed, and while we are thankful for having come so far - to 'remission' - we do not want to be presumptuous, but do want to give Glory to God and thanks to St John the Wonderworker for being such tangible support on our journey.

May God bless everyone who prayed and prays for us and you who read this true account.

Johanna M. 20 Jan. 06

January 7, 2006 "Vladyka John Heals Elbow"

From an Orthodox Christian in Atlanta

I had injured my left elbow several times in the course of a few months. Being very clumsy, I had smashed it into several door frames when walking through, and hit it on my car door. Each time I hit my elbow, it was in exactly the same place. It got to the point where I was in pain and could not lift so much as a carton of eggs without having pain. It was very difficult to do everyday tasks and even hurt to drive my car.

I bought an elbow support brace at the pharmacy and wore that for a few weeks, to no avail. I spent a good deal of money going to an acupuncturist, the best in the city, for about 6 more months, with extra oriental herb patches and salves put on the elbow. That didn't work either.

One Saturday , after confession, I talked to Fr. Jacob , told him of my trouble and asked if he thought Vladyka John would help me with my elbow. He said, "Of course. Let me get the holy oil." So he anointed me and my elbow and said, "Every time you come into the church, go to the shrine of St. John. Open the box which contains his outer robe (exůraso in Greek), and put your elbow inside the box, touching the robes and ask St. John to help you.

I did this and within about two weeks, there was no pain at all! I am still pain-free and I have full range of motion in my elbow, many months later. Glory be to God in all things!

Dimitri S., Atlanta, GA

 
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