‘Only saints can talk about the saints as they share common spiritual experiences and understand each other’
Saint John the Russian, friend of blessed Elder Jacob Tsalikis
Commemorated on May 27
In the beginning of 1989, the Elder Iakovos became very distressed by afflictions that befell persons he knew and loved. He received a phone call from the village of Prokopi. Father John, the priest in charge of the shrine of Saint John the Russian, had just come back from America where he had undergone heart surgery.
In spite of all odds, the difficult by-pass operation was successful. Saint John the Russian had also been present and directed the effort! The doctor in charge acknowledged, in fact, that some power was guiding his hand.
Despite his own bad health and the bad weather – it was winter – Father Elder Iakovos visited with Father John in his house. Not only that, but upon arrival, he also asked forgiveness: “Excuse me for troubling you, but I had to come and visit the servant of the divine John the Russian!” The people in the house thought that some bodiless, weightless angel had entered the home, for his figure emitted a serene light.
Seeing the incision in Father John’s leg where the veins had been removed for the by-pass, Elder Iakovos stooped – rather, fell down – and embraced Father John’s legs. Blessed Elder Iakovos, now in his latter years, had great respect for priests and thought that priests were somehow angelic.
From The Garden of the Holy Spirit: Elder Iakovos of Evia (1920-1991)
The Blessed Elder Iakovos lived in St. David’s for forty years. He imitated Saint David, and followed his path. His ascetic struggles were equivalent to the old saints.
“Elder Iakovos Tsalikis would regularly visit the Shrine of St. John the Russian in Evia. He much loved Saint John the Russian
He said: “Once, I saw the Saint alive inside of his reliquary. I asked him: “My Saint, how did you live in Asia Minor, what virtues and blessings did you have?
The Saint responded to me: “I slept in the cave in which was the stable and covered myself with straw to take cover in the winter so I wouldn’t freeze. I had humility and faith.”
In a short while he said to me: “Wait, Fr. Iakovos, because now two people have come to pray for a sick child. Wait until I go help him.”
Immediately the reliquary appeared empty, because the Saint left. In a short while, he returned, though I didn’t see how he did, but I saw him inside his reliquary like a [living] man!”