March 29

From the Prologue

John was the son of Juliana, a Christian woman in Armenia. As a young boy, he left his mother and withdrew into the wilderness, completely enflamed with love toward Christ the Lord. In the wilderness, he first surrendered himself to the guidance of a spiritual director, Pharmutius, who had been found so worthy before God that an angel of God brought him bread daily. Afterwards, the young John distanced himself and withdrew into solitude. He lowered himself into a dry well where he spent ten years in fasting, prayer and vigils. St. Pharmutius brought bread from the angel and gave it to him. So that John would not become proud, the angel of God did not want to give bread to the young John personally, but rather through his spiritual father Pharmutius. After ten years of difficult mortification in the well, St. John presented himself to the Lord. His relics revealed itself to be wonder-working. He lived and was glorified by God and men in the fourth century.



The Hero Lord, all heroes gathers He,

All who can maintain the Faith,

Faithful to God, and to death remain;

And who can, sufferings to endure

Offering thanksgiving to God

And of their sufferings being proud;

And, who others can forgive,

And insults to receive as praise;

And still, who others can instruct

From the sinful path to righteousness return

With a sorrowful, compassionate soul,

And who can be merciful,

In the joy of others, to rejoice,

And with a weeping heart to cry;

And who can, himself restrain

From evil deeds, words and thoughts,

From over-indulging in drink and food

Who, his body, does not please

But considers it a temporary dustbin

On the battlefield, from which he struggles

His God-given soul to preserve,

To preserve the Christian Faith,

So that into the city of Paradise to enter,

Where the Kingdom of the Lord of Heroes is,

Where, with heroes, the Hero reigns,

With heroes, not of this world.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas