The Holy Priest Who Performed Amazing Miracles in Imperial Russia

When did God hear the prayers of a priest, and raise an unborn child from the dead? — In the late 1800s and early 1900s, St. John of Kronstadt was an incredibly popular Russian priest, beloved by many. His prayers were powerful, and reports of the miraculous were not unheard of . . .

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Editor's Note: St. John of Kronstadt lived from 1829-1908, and is one of Russia's most beloved saints.

In 1965, in Fr. Seraphim Rose's fifth issue of The Orthodox Word, Eugene Vadimov quotes from the historical record, relating a miracle which St. John had performed during his life. 


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The preaching of God’s great prophets is confirmed by the testimony of their miracles.

And Elisha went into the house, and behold, the dead child was laid upon his bed. And Elisha went in, and shut the door upon themselves, the two, and prayed to the Lord. And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands, and bowed himself upon him, and the flesh of the child grew warm . . . And he bowed himself on the child seven times; and the child opened his eyes . . . And Elisha said, take thy son. And the woman went in, and fell at his feet, and did obeisance bowing to the ground; and she took her son, and went out. (IV Kings 4:32-37)

The wife of O., while preparing to bear her fourth or fifth child was taken severely ill. Her doctors determined that the foetus had died and that a Caesarian section was required to remove it. But first, the family sent a telegram to Fr. John of Kronstadt, whom they knew. Fr. John replied:

“Leaving immediately, praying to God. John Sergiev.”

“The next day about noon he entered the O. apartment, where by that time a whole crowd of relatives and friends had gathered. ‘Where is Liza?’ Fr. John asked, entering the drawing room with his customary rapid gait. ‘Take me to her, and all of you remain here quietly.’

“Father John entered the adjoining bedroom and closed the heavy doors after him. Minutes passed, that seemed like half-hours. In the drawing room it was as quiet as a burial vault. And suddenly the bedroom doors were flung open with a loud noise. In the doorway stood a gray-haired old man in a priest’s cassock, over which he had on an old stole, with a thin, disheveled gray beard, with an extraordinary face that was red from the intense effort he had exerted at prayer and covered with great drops of swear. And suddenly there almost thundered from Fr. John fearful, terrible words, words that came from another world. ‘The Lord God has been pleased to work a miracle! He has been pleased to resurrect a dead child in the womb! Liza will bear a son! . . . ‘

” ‘It’s incomprehensible!’ said, excitedly, one of the doctors who had come for the operation, just two hours after Fr. John had left. ‘The foetus is alive . . . I don’t understand a thing about it, not a thing . . . I affirmed and affirm now that the foetus was dead and that blood poisoning began long ago.’ The other doctors understood no more.

“The same night, Mrs. O was successfully and quickly delivered of a perfectly healthy boy.”

Eugene Vadimov (Stursly, op. cit. pp. 244-6)

Eugene Vadimov. The Prophets of God Raise the Dead

The Orthodox Word, Volume 1, Issue 5, p. 178

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