St. John Maximovitch the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco
Commemorated June 19 / July 2
“This man, who appears weak is, in fact, a miracle of ascetic steadfastness and determination in our time of universal spiritual weakening.” – Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky)
“If you desire to see a living Saint, go to Bitol to Father John.” – Bishop Nicholas (Velimirovich)
Vladika’s reputation for holiness, too, spread among the non-Orthodox as well as the Orthodox population. In one of the Catholic churches of Paris, a priest strove to inspire his young people with these words: “You demand proofs, you say that now there are neither miracles nor saints. Why should I give you theoretical proofs, when today there walks in the streets of Paris a Saint — Saint Jean Nus Pieds (Saint John the Barefoot).”
Vladika John would point out that you cannot teach something if you do not have it yourself. He fulfilled the commandments that he taught. Always he read and reread the Lives of Saints. They are living examples, he would say, of people who were like us. Perhaps some were even greater sinners than us and had even more weaknesses than we do, but they still made it. Therefore he had the right to demand of us what he did.
He was attacked and persecuted because he was a saint, but he returned good for evil. We saw him do it. Nun Euphemia
Lover of Truth: St. John Maximovitch of San Francisco
HOLINESS IS THE FRUIT of man’s efforts and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Holiness is reached by him who wears a cross and in the name of Christ wages warfare against the obstacles to holiness, obstacles to becoming akin to Christ. These obstacles are sins, sinful habits, firmly rooted in the soul. Struggle against them is the major work of a Christian, and in so far as he purifies his soul, so far will he receive of the Holy Spirit.
St. Seraphim taught the acquisition of the Holy Spirit, and he genuinely acquired it, for the Most Holy Mother of God recognized him as being her own. And the faithful, sincere seekers of the Truth and Light, as was Motovilov, because of their reverence, saw how this great God pleaser shone with the light of holiness….All of the righteous ones were sorrowful in the world because they were strangers to the sinful world. All of the apostles suffered in one way or another. Righteous men left for the desert. What made them saints? Suffering? Not suffering alone makes saints, but striving towards God, love of God, and the labor of overcoming obstacles to holiness, which is the fruit of man’s labor and the gift of the Holy Spirit. (18/31 May 1953)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Living in holiness and righteousness on earth, and tending well the flock of Christ, thou didst put of the old man, and didst repel the assaults of the enemy by tireless vigil, great asceticism and ardent love for the Lord, which do thou now offer upon for us also, O father John.
O good minister of the Gospel of Christ, who girded thyself about with the truth of Orthodoxy, with the sling of thy words thou didst drive away the ravening wolves who do not confess Christ to be the true Wisdom of God, and others who seek after alien wisdom. Wherefore, O blessed and divinely wise John, wise unto salvation do thou make us who with splendor honor thy most beautiful memory.