Read the Life of St. John here
Born: Trebizond in Asia Minor about 1300.
Died: 1330, but there is debate as to what year he was martyred.
His body was transferred to Suceava, on June 24, 1402.
His incorrupt relics have been kept at the monastery bearing his name in that city until the present.
Liturgical Hymns in Honor of St. John from the Menaion
Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org. Authorized only for private devotional purposes. Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.
O blessed John, newly revealed martyr, thou wast made manifest to the world in latter times; wherefore, by thy grace grant me discourse, that I may worthily hymn thy struggles.
Standing at the tribunal, with noetic eyes thou didst gaze upon the honorable company of the martyrs, who joyfully called to thee, O John, and adorn thee with fitting crowns.
By the right wondrous war-craft of thy soldiery we have obtained victories over the nature of the tyrant; for, put utterly to shame, he no longer dareth to resume his tyrannical deeds.
Arrayed in the breastplate of the confession of the Faith, and wearing the most splendid helmet of grace, O John, with thy divinely eloquent tongue as with a sword thou didst hew down the mindless governor.
Thou wast tried by torments like precious gold, O glorious athlete, and didst offer thyself to the King of hosts as the true fruits of discourse, slaughtered by the sword instead of by the altar's fire.
The lawless Jews who slew the prophets were not content with slaying the Master and Lord so long ago, but running forth they slaughtered the martyr who was pitilessly dragged along by the servants of ungodliness.
The governor spread out his nets, seeking to lure the all-wise athlete into his snares with cunning words; but he cried out to him: "Cease thy many blasphemous sayings, for I will not worship a created thing rather than ·the Creator!"
The shrine of thy relics hath been shown to be a fruitful olive-tree in the midst of the church of the living God, and therefrom we who have been enriched by thee and adorned by thy miracles pluck the healing of divers infirmities.
The tongue of the tyrant was a hook of deception dangled by the craft of the enemy, whose purpose was to capture the brave-hearted one; but its intention was set at naught and foiled when the athlete cried out in joy: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!
"What to me are these many words and corrupt promises, that thou makest mindlessly?" John cried out to the tyrant; "All these things are more bitter than gall to me who cry out sweetly: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!"
"When many wounds blossom forth on my flesh, then shall I hope to be granted a most splendid crown," the athlete said to the Persian; "Touch me not again, O thou of evil mind, for I cry out: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!"
"In nowise shall I obey thee who drawest me into perdition," John exclaimed to the worshipper of fire, "I shall the more readily die for Him Who died for me, and with the martyrs I shall cry out with splendor: Glory to Thy power, O Lord!"
They who beat thy martyric flesh grew exhausted, and the tyrant, seeking vengeance, grew weary; but the martyr endured valiantly, covered with wounds which he endured out of love for his Lord.
How awesome and glorious was thine opposition, which amazed the peoples who attended thy contest, so that they praised thy patience; but the Persians and the Jews, put to shame, were clothed in humiliation.
Multitudes stood round about, looking upon what was taking place, O glorious one, and the tyrant, taking his seat, hoped to win thee over; but the mindless one was cheated of his hope, Sleeking in vain to convert the undaunted one, and beating the adamant one to no effect.
The divine John, reviling the mindless edict of the ungodly governor, denounced the error of Persian arrogance, saying: "I will not worship the sun, for it is a created thing, and to worship it enslaveth men, since it is only one of the great works of the hands of God!"
In nowise did the savagery of him who issued the command, nor beating with staves, nor wounds, nor a most violent death, shake the pillars of thy piety.
The purity of thy mind was like unto the eyes of a cherub, for thou didst manfully endure tortures below, but on high hast come to stand before the Master, Who sent down upon thee a crown of victory,
The choirs of the martyrs leapt up in splendor when they beheld thy boldness; and, descending with the angels, they invisibly strengthened thee for the contest.
O John, thou excellent athlete, thou didst consider thine iron chains to be golden necklaces, and the stones which the Jews flung at thee to be steps leading up to heaven.
The all-wise Creator and Master, the Owner of the noetic vineyard, as He saith in the parable of the vineyard with His own mouth, hath rendered the same payment to those who worked from the eleventh hour as He gave to those who worked from the first, And now, by His works, He hath disclosed what was hidden in the parable, showing forth John, the radiant martyr, who finally appeared after more than a thousand years; and He hath glorified him with incorruption and the gift of healings, like unto the passion-bearers of old, For exchanging transitory things for those which are eternal, he hath received a crown of victory.
O right wondrous John, thou didst consider the sufferings to which thou wast subjected to be like the darts of children, and didst chant in joy: O allhymned Lord and God of our fathers, blessed art Thou!
Stretching forth his hand often toward the tyrant, John said: "Why dost thou exert thyself in vain, O shameless one? For in torturing me thou adornest my vesture, and makest death a crown of incorruption for me!"
"I am a true martyr of Christ our true God," the athlete cried; "for I consider flaying to be blossoms of sweet fragrance and the streams of my blood to be the laver of baptism."
"My life in the flesh do I hold to be as night," John reasoned wisely; "wherefore, sever this bond quickly, that I may inherit life with Christ!"
Kings have called thee blessed and hierarchs have blessed thee, on hearing of thy manly endurance, acquiring thee as a mediator before Christ; and approaching thy precious relics, they bow down before them.
Once the nations and lawless people raged imagining vain things against Christ the Lord; and now the Persians have gathered together, flaying John, while the Jews slew him.
The incorporeal serpent was seized and held fast by thee, and utterly cast down by thine endurance in the flesh; and thou didst quench his might and cruel tyranny for Christ Who clothed Himself in the flesh.
Boasting in the wounds of Christ, thou didst hasten to the eternal mansions; and clothed in a robe empurpled in thy blood, O martyr, thou standest in radiance before the King of hosts joining chorus with the martyrs.
Thou wast a true warrior of the preaching of Christ, O John, and a destroyer of the deception of ungodliness. Wherefore, by thy supplications suppress now the uprisings of the barbarians, casting them down beneath the feet of the pious, O glorious one.
Even though thy flesh was cut away and thy blood shed, O wise one, yet were trophies of victory bestowed on thee; wherefore, by thy power put to shame those who rise up against us, and show forth our civil authorities as victors.
Thou didst break the bow unjustly aimed at thy heritage, which thou didst choose and love, O invincible warrior, and hast made firm the rule of our civil authorities, that we may live our lives in peace and tranquility.
Thy radiant and honorable memorial for which we have longed, have we received and embraced, rejoicing in spirit; and leaping up, O blessed one, we pray: The place and the people where thou wast pleased to be glorified, and our civil authorities, do thou maintain unharmed.