The offering at the Divine Liturgy is more powerful than prayer – Saint John Maximovitch of San Francisco, CA, USA (+1966)


The offering at the Divine Liturgy is more powerful than prayer


Saint John Maximovitch

of San Francisco, CA, USA (+1966)

Then, having successfully passed through the toll-houses and bowed down before God, the soul for the course of 37 more days visits the heavenly habitations and the abysses of hell, not knowing yet where it will remain, and only on the fortieth day is its place appointed until the resurrection of the dead. Some souls find themselves (after the forty days) in a condition of foretasting eternal joy and blessedness, and others in fear of the eternal torments which will come in full after the Last Judgment. Until then changes are possible in the condition of souls, especially through offering for them the Bloodless Sacrifice (commemoration at the Divine Liturgy), and likewise by other prayers.

How important commemoration at the Divine Liturgy is may be seen in the following occurrence: Before the uncovering of the relics of St. Theodosius of Chernigov (1896), the priest-monk (the renowned Starets Alexis of Goloseyevsky Hermitage, of the Kiev-Caves Lavra, who died in 1916) who was conducting the re-vesting of the relics, becoming weary while sitting by the relics, dozed off and saw before him the Saint, who told him: “I thank you for laboring with me. I beg you also, when you will serve the Divine Liturgy, to commemorate my parents” — and he gave their names (Priest Nikita and Maria). “How can you, O Saint, ask my prayers, when you yourself stand at the heavenly Throne and grant to people God’s mercy?” the priest-monk asked. “Yes, that is true,” replied St. Theodosius, “but the offering at the Divine Liturgy is more powerful than my prayer.”

+ St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily on Life after Death




Ancient Faith Radio: Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai & San Francisco (+1966) – July 2




Ancient Faith Radio:

Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai & San Francisco (+1966)

July 2

This brightly-shining Saint of our own day was born in Russia in 1896. In 1921 his family fled the Russian Revolution to Serbia, where he became a monk and was ordained a priest. From the time of his entry into monastic life he adopted a severely ascetical way of life: for the rest of his life he never slept in a bed, sleeping only briefly in a chair or prostrated before the icons. He ate one meal a day, in the evening. Teaching seminarians in Serbia, he instructed them each day to devote six hours to divine services, six hours to prayer (not including the divine services!), six hours to good works, and six hours to rest (these six hours obviously included eating and bathing as well as sleeping). Whether his seminarians followed his counsels we do not know, but he himself not only followed but exceeded them.

In 1934 he was made Bishop of Shanghai (in the Russian Church Abroad), where he served not only the Russian émigré community but a number of native Chinese Orthodox; from time to time he served the Divine Liturgy in Chinese. When the Communists took power in China, he laboured tirelessly to evacuate his flock to safety, first to the Philippines, then to various western countries including the United States. He served as Bishop in Paris and Brussels, then, in 1962 was made Archbishop of San Francisco. Throughout his life as monk and hierarch he was revered (and sometimes condemned) for his ascetical labours and unceasing intercessions. During his life and ever since, numerous miraculous healings of all manner of afflictions have been accomplished through his prayers.

Once, in Shanghai, a caretaker, investigating strange noises in the cathedral after midnight, discovered Bishop John standing in the belltower, looking down on the city and praying for the people. Years later, when he visited Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, the priest responsible for hosting him found the saint walking through the halls of the monastery, standing outside the door of each room and praying for the monk or seminarian sleeping within. When the Archbishop had prayed outside each room, he returned to the beginning of his circuit and began praying again; and so he spent the entire night

Even as Archbishop, he lived in near-absolute poverty. His appearance was striking: His cassock was made of blue Chinese “peasant cloth,” crudely decorated with crosses stitched by orphans who had been in his care in Shanghai. His Bishop’s “miter” was often a cloth cap to which he had glued paper icons. Even in the United States, even while serving the Divine Liturgy (which he did every day), he went barefoot in all seasons. (Eventually, after he was hospitalized with an infected foot, his Metropolitan ordered him to wear shoes; thereafter, he wore sandals). Needless to say, he was an embarrassment to those who like their bishops to make a more worldly appearance, but among his various flocks throughout the world, there were always those who recognized him as a Saint in his own lifetime.

Following his repose in 1966, a steady stream of healings and other miracles was accomplished through his intercessions, and in 1996 he was glorified as a Saint of the Church. His incorrupt and wonder-working relics can be venerated at his cathedral in San Francisco. At St John’s funeral, the eulogist told his mourners (and all of us): because Archbishop John was able to live the spirituality of the Orthodox Church so fully, even in modern, western, urban society, we are without excuse

Footnote: An acquaintance of Monk John once met him on a train in Serbia. When asked his destination, Monk John replied, “I’m going to straighten out a mistake. I’ve gotten a letter meant for some other John whom they intend to make a bishop.” The same person met him again on his return journey and asked if he had been able to resolve his problem. John answered, “The mistake is much worse than I thought: they did make me a bishop.”

(From Ancient Faith Radio)




Alexis Catel, ΗΠΑ, 1998: Θαύμα του Αγίου Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς στη Χαβάη



Alexis Catel, ΗΠΑ, 1998:

Θαύμα του Αγίου Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς στη Χαβάη

Τόν Αύγουστο του 1998 η σύζυγός μου και εγώ πήγαμε για διακοπές στη Χαβάη, στό νησί Καουάι. Είχαμε ξαναπάει εκεί πολλές φορές, καί τό μέρος πού μείναμε ήταν μία όμορφη παραλία για κολύμπι.

Και οι δυό, η σύζυγός μου και εγώ, είμαστε καλοί κολυμβητές και επομένως δεν ανησυχούμε ο ένας για τον άλλο όταν πάμε για κολύμπι στον ωκεανό. Εκείνη τή φορά, τή νύχτα της άφιξής μας, ένας τυφώνας είχε σαρώσει τό νησί. Παρόλα αυτά, πήγαμε για κολύμπι εκείνη τήν ημέρα, όπως συνήθως.

Η σύζυγός μου παρέμεινε κοντά στήν ακτή, ενώ εγώ απλώθηκα σε βαθιά νερά γιά ένα καλό κολύμπι. Ξαφνικά, από τό πουθενά, ένα πελώριο κύμα μέ κτύπησε βίαια καί Continue reading “Alexis Catel, ΗΠΑ, 1998: Θαύμα του Αγίου Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς στη Χαβάη”

“Although I have died, I am alive…” – Memories of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco


“Although I have died, I am alive…”

Memories of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco

By Matthew Slavko

St. John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco said these words in appearing already after his death to one woman. But he came to many people, and he was always overflowing with life, quenching the thirst of many. Today it is especially appropriate to remember that St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, the wonderworker, is our contemporary, having reposed only a little over half a century ago, in 1966—that is, quite recently. It is another clear witness to the unity of the Russian Orthodox world, inasmuch as St. John embraces and links Slobozhanschina (Sloboda, Ukraine, an historical region in modern-day northeast Ukraine and southwestern Chernozemie in Russia—ed.), Ukraine, China, Western Europe, and America by his life.

The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad glorified this wondrous God-pleaser among the saints on July 2, 1994. On June 24, 2008, St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco was glorified for Churchwide veneration by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In Poltava, on July 2 of the same year, the first festive, conciliar Liturgy in honor of the newly-proclaimed saint was served. Touching were the words of the Continue reading ““Although I have died, I am alive…” – Memories of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco”

Ο Άγιος Ιωάννης Μαξίμοβιτς διώχνει τους τυφώνες πριν & μετά την κοίμησή του



Ο Άγιος Ιωάννης Μαξίμοβιτς διώχνει

τους τυφώνες πριν & μετά την κοίμησή του

Στό τέλος Αύγουστου του 1979, ό φοβερός τυφώνας “David” σχηματίστηκε στον Ατλαντικό Ωκεανό. Στον τυφώνα αυτό πνέουν άνεμοι πού ή ταχύτητα τους φθάνει μέχρι και 100 μίλια την ώρα προκαλώντας πολλές καταστροφές και πολλούς θανάτους στη Δομηνικανή Δημοκρατία.

Από την κατεύθυνση προς την οποία έκινεΐτο ό τυφώνας, ήταν βέβαιο πώς κατευθυνόταν στο Miami της Florida. Το Σάββατο της 1ης Σεπτεμβρίου, δεν υπήρχε πλέον καμία αμφιβολία, οτι έτσι θα γινόταν. Την Κυριακή 2 Σεπτεμβρίου, οι τοπικές αρχές έδωσαν οδηγίες ώστε να εκκενωθούν οι παραλιακές κατοικίες και τα ξενοδοχεία. Τη Δευτέρα, στις 3 Σεπτεμβρίου, νωρίς το πρωί, τα ραδιόφωνα και οι εφημερίδες ανακοίνωναν ότι “ό τυφώνας λυπήθηκε το Miami και το προσπέρασε!”.

Ό συγγραφέας αυτής της μαρτυρίας βρισκόταν εκείνη την εποχή στο Miami και θά ήθελε να εκθέσει πώς ακριβώς έγιναν τα πράγματα.

Την Κυριακή 2 Σεπτεμβρίου, μετά τη Θεία Λειτουργία στην Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία του Αγίου Βλαδίμηρου, στο Miami, ό ιερέας έκανε παννυχίδα για τον Άγιο Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς.

Όταν οι Ρώσοι πριν από 30 χρόνια έμεναν στο νησί Τουμπαμπάο, στίς Φιλιππίνες, χάρις στις αδιάλειπτες προσευχές του Αγίου Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς, οι τυφώνες συνήθως δεν ενοχλούσαν καν αυτά τα μέρη. Αυτό το είχαν καταλάβει ακόμα και οι ιθαγενείς, οι όποιοι συχνά έβλεπαν τον Άγιο Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς να προσεύχεται τις νύκτες, νά ψέλνει στον καταυλισμό και να σφραγίζει με το σημείο του σταυρού τον ορίζοντα. Κάποτε, στις Φιλιππίνες, ένας πολύ ισχυρός τυφώνας κατευθυνόταν προς τον καταυλισμό των Ρώσων και με τις προσευχές του Αγίου Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς, καθώς έφθανε στο νησί, άλλαξε πορεία και δεν έπληξε τον καταυλισμό!

Το ίδιο θαύμα έγινε και στη Florida. Μετά την παννυχίδα στον Άγιο Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς, ό “τυφώνας David” καθώς πλησίαζε το Miami, ξαφνικά άλλαξε πορεία, στράφηκε στα βόρεια και προσπέρασε! Έτσι, με τις προσευχές του Αγίου Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς, ακόμα και τώρα, μετά την κοίμηση του, ό Κύριος διέσωσε τους κατοίκους της πόλεως. Ευχόμαστε πάντοτε με τις προσευχές του, ό παντοδύναμος Θεός μας, νά μας χαρίζει το έλεος Του!

K. K. M.

Miami, Florida, USA

3 Σεπτεμβρίου 1979

Μεταφρασμένο από το περιοδικό “Όρθόδοξη Ρωσία”, τ. 20, σελ. 16, 1979


Άγιος Ιωάννης Μαξίμοβιτς

εκδ. Ι. Μονής Αγίου Νεκταρίου Τρίκορφου Φωκίδος 2006

Saint John Maximovitch & the dove


Saint John Maximovitch & the Dove

When I came to San Francisco to be close to the saintly Archbishop John Maximovitch, I heard a lot of fascinating accounts of his ascetic life. Frequently I visited St. Tikhon’s Orphanage, founded by this Saint, and run then by his long-time assistant, Mrs. Maria Alexandrovna Shakhmatova (+1967). Archbishop John was a very busy man, and I did not dare to be often in his presence…

The orphanage was no longer a place where children were sheltered….Within its walls was Archbishop John’s tiny office, which was so small that even a bed would not fit, where he both lived and had his prayer-room and office…I would visit him there, and have long constructive talks that shaped my life.

One day I came to see Mrs. Shakhmatova, and she, as usual, insisted that I stay for tea, even though I never liked tea. She would get me into her kitchen, almost next to Archbishop John’s office, and ask, almost in the form of an interrogation, about my whereabouts, what I had done that week, what I had read, etc. Usually she scolded me for not visiting her more often Continue reading “Saint John Maximovitch & the dove”

Σπάνιο video απ’ τη ζωή του Αγίου Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς (+1966) ⊰ “Παρότι έχω πεθάνει είμαι ακόμη ζωντανός”


Σπάνιο video απ’ τη ζωή του Αγίου Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς (+1966)

“Παρότι έχω πεθάνει είμαι ακόμη ζωντανός”