SAINT JOHN THE RUSSIAN
Saint John was recruited into the army during the reign of Peter the Great. He took part in the war against the Turks in 1711 AD and was taken captive by the Tatars. He endured his slavery with patience, living in prayer and fasting. He received Holy Communion hidden in an apple before giving up his spirit. His memory is honoured on the 27th of May.
Saint John was born to pious and virtuous parents in a village of Little Russia in 1690 AD. When he reached the legal age, he was recruited into the army during the reign of Peter the Great. He took part in the war against the Turks in 1711 AD, and he was taken captive by the Tatars. The Tatars sold him to an Ottoman cavalry officer, who came from Procopion of Asia Minor. In this way, blessed John, having the wisdom which God freely gives to those who love Him, endured patiently slavery and abuse from his master. After some years of living in prayer and fasting, John became sick and approached the end of his life. Knowing his end was near, he wished to receive communion and asked for a priest. But the priest was afraid to openly bring the Holy Sacrament to the stable where he was staying, because of the anti-Christian fanaticism of the Turks. However,God enlightened him and he took an apple, carved out the middle and hid the Sacrament inside so that he could transport it to the stable, so that John was able to receive communion. Having received the Body and Blood of Christ, John gave up his holy soul into the hands of God, whom he had loved so dearly. His relics are incorrupt and housed in the church that bears his name in Evia. His memory is honoured on the 27th of May. This original icon was painted on Mt. Athos, by the monks of the Holy Koutloumousian Cell of Saint John the Theologian.
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