Sometimes John left his shelter, and went to the city, to the church of the Holy Great Martyr George, on the porch of which he gave himself up to fervent prayer. In the morning, he distributed what little money he had been given to the poor . . .
Saint John the Russian and Confessor
When Russia was fighting the Turks under Peter the First, John, a simple Russian soldier, was captured by the Ottomans. The first thing that the Turks did was to force their new slaves to convert to the Muslim faith, but John feared God and had been Orthodox his entire life. He refused to deny his faith for anything, even though they tortured him, beat him, and humiliated him.
Then his master, seeing his fearlessness and steadfast faith, stopped torturing John, and assigned him to diligently watch over the livestock. The captured slave earnestly fulfilled his duties, and helped many others with their work, having a kind word for everyone.
The master's heart softened, and he began to trust John, and soon he even offered to free him. But the saint refused, and continued to live by the stable, where he could spend the nights unhindered in prayerful silence, being strengthened in kindness and love to God and to others.
Sometimes John left his shelter, and went to the city, to the church of the Holy Great Martyr George, on the porch of which he gave himself up to fervent prayer. In the morning, he distributed what little money he had been given to the poor.
Various miracles were performed by his prayers. Once, when his master was far away from his house, the saint miraculously sent him a dish of pilaf from a feast being held at his house, so that he wouldn't be saddened by being so far away from his family.
When Saint John died, his master mourned for him as a person who meant more to him than a friend. He called for the Christian priests, so that they could bury the righteous one according to the Orthodox tradition.
Soon the saint's incorruptible relics began to work various miracles, and not only the Christians, but also the Armenians and Turks venerated him.
In the Orthodox faith, St. John is honored as an intercessor and protector of the Russian land.
The ninth of June is the feast day of Saint John the Russian and Confessor.
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