Our Holy Father John the Seer.

Commemorated March 27 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

He as a carpenter until the age of twenty-five, when, urged on by an unquenchable desire for constant prayer, he took himself off into the desert, where he lived until his death, that is, until the age of ninety. He lived in the body as one without a body. He could look into the heart of every person who came near him and could discover his name, and his thoughts and desires. He foretold the outcome of the Emperor Theodosius's battles to him; prophesied to nobles, to monks, to anyone at all who was in need, to uncover what was hidden from them in the darkness of future days. A certain prince asked him to receive his wife, who wished to see him. The holy man was not willing to satisfy empty curiosity, so he appeared in a dream to the prince's wife, and she saw him just as he was. And when the woman described her dream to her husband, he affirmed that such was the appearance of the holy man. He taught every visitor about humility, which is the basic virtue, and always drew his examples from life. He taught how pride makes war against a man of exalted character and brings him to dust and to terrible sins. He endured great assaults from evil spirits. Once Satan appeared to him with a great crowd of demons in the form of shining angels. They pressed him to bow down before Satan, lying to him and telling him that it was Christ. But he answered with great wisdom: 'Every day I bow down to Jesus Christ my King; if it were He, it would not be necessary for me to bow down to Him at this particular moment.' After these words, the evil forces disappeared like smoke. He died peacefully, kneeling in prayer, at the age of ninety.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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