«I walked home barefoot»: how to spend the millions John of Kronstadt

© RIA Novosti / A. Varfolomeeva in fotoreceptori photos Archpriest Ioann of Kronstadt in the family. Beginning of 1900-ies. Central State archive of cinema-photo-Phono documents of the USSR«I walked home barefoot»: how to spend the millions John of Kronstadt© RIA Novosti / A. Varfolomeeva the image Bank

Exactly 28 years ago the Russian Orthodox Church officially canonized as one of the most famous saints of the twentieth century — John of Kronstadt. The idol of the «city bottom», a fighter against drunkenness, the enemy of Leo Tolstoy and socialists, he was known as a miracle worker. As a simple priest from Arkhangelsk «watertower» Saint-Petersburg and for which he was revered throughout the Russian Empire — in the material RIA Novosti.

Father John was a true «hereditary priest» — his ancestors on the paternal side served as a Church, this priestly dynasty at least three centuries. He recalled how a student of the theological Academy saw myself in a dream in priestly robes in the Cathedral city of Kronstadt. A few days later married the daughter of its rector. They were not: the couple took upon himself the exploit of virginity. In one of the editions of the Saint’s life States that «the marriage of Ioann <…> was only a dummy, he needs to cover his dedicated pastoral exploits.»

Righteous gangster Petersburg

And exploits were many. In Seminary, father John wanted to go to preach Christianity to the peoples of Siberia and America. But, according to the memoirs of contemporaries, at some point realized that the residents of the capital «know Christ no more than savages some of Patagonia,» and left. Kronstadt, where he dropped out to serve in those years was the «101st kilometer» — to send beggars, drunks and vagrants. Every day he walked through the shacks and mud huts, consoled single mothers engaged in with their children, gave all the salary. And when the money was over, could give wear, shoes and come home barefoot.

«Kronstadt is full of poor people. Basements and attics filled with poor people, represent a phenomenon that defies description, but they sheltered the children, sometimes orphans. And in those stinking slums are conceived their first child a moral dawn, and defect in all the nakedness and savagery is the primary, if not their only teacher,» wrote the future Saint.

Very quickly it gained popularity throughout the Empire. By the 1890s father John is so revered among the people that wherever they learned of his arrival, crowds. He was literally torn to pieces — once in Riga, he tore his robe to pieces to remember him by. And Kronstadt became a real spiritual centre, on the way even from Siberia.

The temple should be treated and not to «host events»
«Unfortunately, churches have now ceased to be a place where people are treated for the hard life in the world. It is not enough Church-related activities. Why we rehabilitate for alcohol dependence, but from sinful sources of pleasure — no? Father John all my life put it. He showed people that there are things much more important and more valuable than the acquisition of property. He constantly talked to mothers of large families, was floating somewhere on the ship, visited the sick. And with all this does not mean there is no «goal», just doing good,» says a clergyman of the Church of the Holy Martyr Panteleimon in the city of Orsk of the Orenburg region Alexander Kursakov.

Here at one of the city hospitals opened a prayer room in the name of St. John of Kronstadt. Its main visitors are the mothers of the patients of the children’s Department. Alexander’s father dreams that these rooms were as much as possible, because it often happens that, except to the priest, to ask people just not to anyone.

«When an adult is sick, everything seems clear, are to blame. But the disease is still faithful even unsettling. And our room is not seen as a temple but as the place where you will help, will support. Not just listen or give money and will tell you what to do. And baptize it, of course. Many are very critical of the Church and God as long as the child is not sick. Then I want you to baptize, and to talk, and generally ready for anything» — says the priest.

The Ministry of the Reverend John Orskaya in the hospital trying to continue. According to father Alexander, the hospital is a place where people are willing to listen. Unfortunately, it often happens that a person is willing to listen.

«Mother expects the father will say all is well, and you know that with this disease all right will never be. Plus the classic «what» and «why.» People looking for a reason, and they need help, suggest, but preferably not in the spirit that «we are all sinners and all we will soon die». To suggest that no one is to blame, but rather, are all to blame a little, and delve into this no special meaning. We have to think how to live further», — he explains.

The main credo of St. John was «love every man, and sin, and shame him.» «Do not confuse man — this image of God the evil that is in him, because evil is just a disease, the dream demons, but being it is the image of God — still remains in it», wrote the ascetic in the diaries.

He died after a painful illness. Some connected it with the injury caused to the ascetic in one of the poorest houses. But the Saint asked his accompanying assistants won’t tell you not to bring the perpetrators of the pogrom.

Father John in the last journey accompanied by tens of thousands of grieving residents. From the millions of donations he did not have a penny — all distributed to the poor. That did for the city «Kronstadt the elder», wrote later shot by the Bolsheviks, the priest John delighted: «the Capital of Russia <…> was not votserkovleniya in the eyes of the people and remained alien to him. She needed the living righteous, the living bearer of the faith, living the ascetic spirit of asceticism. Such a feat, and made the father of John.»

Saint John Of Kronstadt«I walked home barefoot»: how to spend the millions John of KronstadtSaint John Of Kronstadt