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SAINT JOHN THE WONDERWORKER

St John, sometimes called ‘St John Maximovitch’ or ‘St John of Shanghai and San Francisco’ is a saint of the Orthodox Church, much loved and revered by Christians around the world.


Born in Ukraine in 1896, St John’s family fled the Bolshevik revolutionaries, allowing him to study theology and become a monk in 1926. Consecrated to the Bishopric of Shanghai in 1934, St John worked tirelessly to establish the Orthodox Church in China. Constantly prayerful, St John was known for his acts of generosity and charity toward the sick and the poor, which he would deliver walking barefoot even on the coldest of days.

Following the rise of communism in China, St John led his community to the United States in 1949. In 1951 he was assigned to the Archdiocese of Western Europe. During this time St John worked tirelessly to establish and celebrate the ancient liturgies of the Western Church, and he is recognised today as one of the foremost lights of Western Rite Orthodoxy. It is during this time that St John uttered one of his most famous quotations; "Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must be Eastern. The West was fully Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies."

During his lifetime, and after his repose in 1966, St John was renowned for marvellous miracles, many witnesses to which remain among us today, earning him the moniker ‘the wonderworker’. His feast is celebrated on 19th July.