June 11 - Blessed John the Fool-for-Christ

At night he prayed silently, and in the day he would rest on a pile of manure, humbly enduring all the mocking and insults . . .

Blessed John the Fool-for-Christ

At one time a very pious youth lived in the village of Pukhovo, near Old Ustiug. He always strictly fasted, and followed a prayer rule. After his family moved, his father died and his mother went to a monastery. He began to remain silent, and then labored in the most difficult feat of asceticism: foolishness for Christ's sake.

He moved to the city of Ustiug, and began to walk around in torn rags, barefoot summer and winter. At night he prayed silently, and in the day he would rest on a pile of manure, humbly enduring all the mocking and insults.

The Lord gave him the gift of foresight during his life. Once during the winter he wanted to warm himself, so he took hot coals from a furnace into his bare hands, and crossing himself, he laid down on them without being harmed. Another time, he healed Maria — the wife of the prince of Ustiug — from a deadly fever, with just one word.

Blessed John presented himself to the Lord when he was only eighteen years old, in 1494 A.D. He was especially famous after his death for his intercessions during enemy attacks, and his abundant healings of the sick.

The eleventh of June is the feast day of the Blessed John, the Fool-for-Christ.

MORE:Saints
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