October 12, 1894 in the Livadia Palace was a very sick monarch Alexander III. Soon, accompanied by many people, a priest came to him. The autocrat gathered his strength and went out to greet the shepherd. Alexander thanked him for his soon arrival on his own initiative and asked to pray for his health. The king himself did not dare to call a priest before him. Five days later, the autocrat invited the shepherd to receive communion. A few minutes before his death, the emperor asked the priest to put his holy palms on the inflamed head. While Alexander III did not give up his spirit, the shepherd did not take his hands off him. This priest was John of Kronstadt. Biography and wonderful facts from the life of this amazing person will be presented in this article. So, let's get started.
The biography of John of Kronstadt began in 1829. It was then that the future shepherd appeared in the Arkhangelsk province. The parents of the boy - the reader of the local church Elijah and his wife Iodor - deeply believed in God. Since the newborn was helpless and very weak, they hastened to baptize him. The hope for the survival of the baby was almost absent, and so he would immediately be in the Kingdom of God. And a miracle happened: after the arrived father thrust John into the water three times, the baby's eyes gleamed, and his cheeks became pink. Since that day, he has become stronger and more alive.
The parents of the boy, who had a great religious experience, saw in the miraculous healing of the son a sign from above. Reader Elijah insisted on the Christian upbringing of the boy. So from the first years of life the parish church became for the hero of this article a home, a school of knowledge of God and piety.
Since childhood, Ivan seemed to be the seal of election. The boy did not like to communicate with peers. All his free time he spent either studying and praying in the temple, or in domestic work. Since the family was large, John had to help his parents from early childhood.
The diploma was very poorly given to a young Christian. This tormented his sensitive and delicate soul. Especially John was worried because he was disappointed in his studies by his good parents. Once the boy once again received an unsatisfactory mark and went to sleep. He for a long time tossed and could not fall asleep. Vanya got out of bed and, not wearing shoes, went to the house icon to pray. The future saint sincerely asked God to grant him the ability to study. As later recalled John of Kronstadt, whose biography was full of vivid events, he received inspiration. The mind in my head seemed to open, and the memory was cleared of any husks. The lesson the lesson was presented before the boy's inner eye in every detail. Classmates were very surprised when the next day Vanya answered the lesson in a clear, clear language. Since then, the young Christian has received only high marks. Later he became the best student: first in the school, then in the seminary and, finally, in the theological academy (St. Petersburg).
Vision of the future
In the history of religion, there are many examples when God's electors were awarded special revelations or prophetic visions. The biography of John of Kronstadt contains several such mystical cases. And the first of them occurred during the study of a young man in the theological academy. Once John was thinking about the future ministry to people and God. The young ascetic wanted to accomplish some missionary feat, leading to the Lord the wild tribes living in the Far Eastern regions of the country. With these thoughts the young man fell asleep.
And at night he had a vision: John stood in the midst of a majestic cathedral in priestly garments. All the details of the interior were presented to him clearly and distinctly. In the vision he discovered that it was the Cathedral of St. Andrew the First-Called, who was in the city of Kronstadt. Waking up, the young man did not begin to think about the night vision, but immediately took up his duties.
A few days later, the biography of John of Kronstadt was marked by a momentous event. The young man received an offer to enter into a legal marriage with the Orthodox girl Elizabeth. She was the daughter of the abbot of the cathedral in Kronstadt. Up to this point, the hero of this article did not even think about getting married. John was like an angel in the flesh and his thoughts were never inclined to the joys of married life. But the coincidence of the proposal for the wedding and the recent sleep John considered an indication from above.
Soon the young graduate of the Academy became the wedding spouse of Elizabeth, the daughter of the head of the St. Andrew's Cathedral. And after a while John accepted the ordination and took office as a priest of this temple.
The conjugal life of the young couple began with a scandal. On the wedding night the shepherd turned to Elizabeth with a proposal that plunged her into shock. John of Kronstadt (biography, diaries and other information about the saint is in the church libraries) said that in the world and so many happy couples. But still in the general mass the human grief prevails. He wanted them to serve with Liza all the unhappy and suffering. And the new priest wanted to do this in full moral purity. John invited his wife to remain a brother and sister.
A healthy, beautiful, young wife was difficult to understand and accept such a request. She did not immediately reconcile with such a terrible, but in fact, angelic lot. Elizabeth repeatedly complained to her father. He, in turn, informed the bishop of the strange behavior of the new shepherd, hinting that John could become a victim of his own self-esteem. But the young priest was adamant and did not heed the insistent demands of the spiritual authorities to return to normal family life. Soon there was a resolution of this drama, which was almost not a tragedy.
Sign from above
Once the bishop himself summoned John and began to press on him with special force. The priest apologized and said that there is no God's will for such an act. After that, the bishop darkened in the eyes, and from the neck fell panagia (oval image of the Mother of God, which was worn on a gold chain) and with a knock rolled on the floor. Vladyka himself fell to his knees before the young shepherd. The bishop, who has a significant religious experience, immediately realized on whose side justice is. He instantly realized that the young man is God's chosen righteous man, whom the Almighty has prepared a special way. We can say that from that moment the spiritual biography of John of Kronstadt began. The priest ceased to be harassed by the requirements for the performance of matrimonial duty. Over time, his wife, Elizabeth, fully accepted the heavy lot.
What was it? Immediately after John became a pastor in St. Andrew's Cathedral, he spent the end of his life there the sacred liturgy. And he did it every day without holidays and weekends. Even illnesses did not stop his religious zeal. The shepherd came to St. Andrew's Cathedral by four in the morning and was preparing for service. Each of his liturgy took place at a huge confluence of the Orthodox people.
The hero of this article was distinguished by a living sincere love for people. Right after the service, he went to the slums of Kronstadt. Blessed, talked, distributed everything that he had in his pockets. Often John of Kronstadt, whose biography and family were described in this article, returned home without money, boots and outer clothing. Sometimes, Elizabeth complained about her husband to the bishop about the fact that at home sometimes there is nothing to eat, but the priest distributes everything to the poor. But then she understood the meaning of his actions. It was not a whim, it was a punctual execution of the evangelical command: give to the beggar.
On his own money, John founded the House of diligence. There, during the day, they could get food to a thousand thirsty and needy. Also, Kronstadt founded a monastery in honor of John Rylsky, a school for the poor, workshops, a hospital and much more. But his main mission was to heal and revive human souls. The priest had the gift of miracles and healing.
Rescue from suicide
Somehow Father John went on Kronstadt, returning to his home. In one of the squares he saw a girl sitting on a bench. On her face the shepherd read the strongest spiritual torment. Father came and offered his help. It turned out that the young girl was on the verge of suicide. From the existing life situation, she simply did not see any other way out. After many years, the woman wrote in memoirs that at that moment Father John with a clean kind word lit her hope in her soul. She followed him into the temple and with the help of faith changed her own life, determining the purpose and meaning of existence.
Once the hero of this article was invited to a noble woman in St. Petersburg. She could not be born in any way. When the priest arrived at the house, the doctors raised their hands: the fetus died in the womb. Sepsis and the death of the mother were inevitable. John of Kronstadt (a biography for children about this saint is present in many Orthodox books) asked everyone to leave the room where the woman in bed was groaning loudly in hot delirium. The shepherd knelt, raised his hands to heaven and began to forgive God to heal a woman and a child. Kronstadt prayed for half an hour. After that, the priest left the room with a blush on his cheeks. His gaze burned with divine power, and out of the mouth poured incomprehensible holy words: "The Lord wanted the baby to rise again. Mother is alive. The boy was born. "
The miracles that God accomplished through the prayer of John became common property. A lot of people came to St. Andrew's Cathedral, where the shepherd served. Also, thousands of telegrams and letters (even from abroad) were received asking for help and praying. John of Kronstadt did not deny anyone - neither Jews, nor Muslims, nor Christians. The glory of the priest was such that during trips from one city to another, crowds of people met him all the way. When the ship or carriage approached, on which the shepherd was traveling, they knelt.
Prophecies about the fate of Russia
St. John of Kronstadt, whose biography is known to all believing people, was a divinely inspired prophet. One of his most famous predictions concerns the fate of the Russian state. At the beginning of the twentieth century, John preached from the pulpit that hard trials were awaiting our country. According to the saint, the sedition of seditious people will cause the ruin of the Russian lands. Shepherd mercilessly denounced the liberals, socialists, nihilists, for which he was fiercely hated. Somehow he was tricked into a rich mansion by saying that a dying person needed a sacrament. As soon as the priest entered, he was seized and crucified on the bed, and then they stabbed him with a knife in the groin. But the criminals were not Russian people, so the priest hid this attempt to avoid pogroms.
Shortly before his death, the holy righteous John of Kronstadt, whose biography is in many encyclopedias of religious themes, wrote another prophecy about Russia. Let's quote it verbatim:
"What will happen to Russia? If seditious people reign, then the enemies of the Orthodox faith will rule the country. Their main goal is to deprive the church of freedom, property, primordial splendor and enslave the Russians, as well as all fraternal peoples. Wretched and insane are our intellectuals. Because of their frivolity, they lost the faith of the fathers, which is the life support in all troubles and sorrows. These madmen do not understand that if, thanks to their efforts, Russia renounces God, she will have a king, and the Russian lands will be fragmented into many fragments. Then the time of the Antichrist will come. If a country does not get rid of a large number of chaff, then soon it will become empty. It was such a fate that many ancient cities and kingdoms, erased by the justice of God from the face of the earth, were rewarded for their deviation from the faith. "
Father John of Kronstadt, whose biography is an example of imitation for any Christian, died in 1908. In 1964 he was glorified by the Holy Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. And in 1990 the priest was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian people revered Kronstadt as a saint even during his lifetime. Recently, St. John's Monastery was renovated in St. Petersburg. It is in it is the miraculous tomb of the saint.
That's the end of a short biography of John of Kronstadt. In conclusion, we will provide some cognitive information about the pastor.
- It is known that after the general confession, which was carried out by the hero of this article, almost all the people were crying. At the end, the floors were washed not with water, but with the tears of repentant sinners.
- John was called Kronstadt, because he spent all his life in this city. Many did not even know his real surname "Sergiev".
- John of Kronstadt, the biography and miraculous facts about which were presented above, healed with his prayer not only Orthodox people, but also Jews with Muslims.
- In one of his visions, Father saw the events of the October Revolution of 1917.
- 53 years - this is the priestly experience that John of Kronstadt had. A brief biography for children about this saint is presented in the textbooks of theological schools and seminaries.
- The last line in the diary of Father John is this: "Only one sincere charity can save our soul."