Washington English

Blessed John of Moscow, fool-for-Christ

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3/16 July

He was born near Vologda. In his youth, he labored as a water-bearer in the salt- works The saint combined strict fasting and prayer with his hard labor. Later, he moved to Rostov, where he took on the podvig of foolishness. He wore chains formed into heavy iron crosses, and on his head he wore a large iron cap, and thus acquired the name "John of the Large Cap." In Moscow, he walked barefoot and virtually naked even in the most bitter of frosts. He prophesied for Russia great sorrows, a time of troubles, the Polish invasion, and stated that "…in Moscow there will be many demons, visible and invisible…"

He fearlessly spoke the truth to everyone, regardless of rank. Even to the Tsar Boris Godounov himself, he often said: "O wise head, comprehend the works of God. God bides His time, but His blows are painful." Before his death, St. John chose for himself a grave at the Church of the Protection, later known as the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed. Preparing himself for burial, he removed the chains, and thrice poured water over himself. Shortly before his death (+1589), the blessed one received the gift of healing. In Moscow he was venerated as a great miracle-worker and clairvoyant. On June 12, 1872, his relics were discovered, hidden in one of the chapels in the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed. His hagiography and the service to him are found in manuscripts dating to the 17th Century.

Address of our Cathedral

  • 4001 17th St. N.W.,
  • Washington, D.C., 20011

Phone  (202) 726-3000

Email        webmaster@stjohndc.org



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