June 17, 2016
June 17, 2016
Waterfalls of Drymona & Kalamoudi
Born in the modern Ukraine in 1690. Saint John the Russian is one of the most renowned saints in the Greek Orthodox Church. Every year a large numbers of worshippers (about 200,000) make the pilgrimage to this church on May 27th (the day of his death in 1730 – although he is also celebrated on June 7th). He was captured as a prisoner of war and slave to a Turkish Agha in 1711 when war broke out in Turkey, and after some time, the Agha actually came to respect him also for his steadfast faith and benevolence.
The story goes that the young saint was serving the Agha’s favorite food for a party with the wife and said he would send a plate to his master who was far away on a journey. The wife thought he took the plate to eat himself or to give to someone else, but when the Agha returned, he told of the night he came back to his accommodation to find his own plate with the food his wife had prepared. The saint claimed he had sent it with prayer.
Saint John the Russian died young at age 40 and his master allowed the Christians to given him a Christian burial. His body was placed in a marble casket and buried at St George, and then more than a century later was open and emptied. His remains were undecayed and when Turkish soldiers of Pasha Hatkeral Oglou Osman tried placing the remains on an open log fire, his body wouldn’t properly burn. They were scared by this and placed his body back into a casket and later his body was transported to modern day Prokopi, Evia from Cappadocia. The body was buried in Prokopi in 1924 and remained untouched until it the church was completed in 1951, at which point the body was exhumed and placed in an urn as a religious shrine. Many people have cited miracles from visiting the casket.
This saint is called a protector of travelers, and is particularly known to help sick children and those with cancer.