The following excerpts are translated from a new book about Blessed Archbishop John
Vladika Helps a Family
I'd like to share with you a miracle which we received through Vladika John.
Our family--I, my husband and three children- came to America in 1963. We were not greeted very warmly by our new country. They found something wrong with our son's lungs and he had to have an operation. My husband was already ill and couldn't find work. I managed to find work but it was very difficult to support the family on one income.
We didn't know Vladika John, but here in America we heard about him and about the miracles he worked. We began thinking how we could arrange to invite Vladika John to our home to tell him about our situation. We had no money, and so we postponed.
And here is what happened. Vladika John himself came to us unexpectedly one night at eleven o'clock. We told him about our son who was in the hospital. Vladika went up to my husband and for several moments looked him straight in the eyes. He then made the rounds of all the rooms, asking who slept where, and left, without saying anything else.
Soon my husband got a job and worked there for ten years, making it possible for the children to receive a higher education. Vladika visited our son in the hospital; he even brought the Wonderworking Icon. Most often he would visit our son late at night. Soon our son recovered and everything was normal.
Two days before his repose Vladika John visited us and asked after the health of my husband. Foreseeing his repose, Vladika nevertheless continued to be concerned about his flock.
A second miracle occurred with our other son. At work I received a phone call from his school and was told that the right side of his face was paralyzed. We rushed immediately to Dr. Mironov, who sent us straightway to a specialist. After examining our son, the specialist told us that he had a pinched nerve, and that an operation was necessary. We began discussing when to schedule the operation. Leaving the doctor, we went straight to the cathedral, where we found Vladika John and told him everything. At that time our sons still served as acolytes. When our son who was ill approached Vladika for anointing (it was the eve of St. Nicholas day), Vladika anointed him with a large sign of the cross on several places on the afflicted side. Our son's condition improved, and when we returned to the doctor, he examined the boy and said that an operation was not necessary. Pressing my hand, he admired that it was a miracle.
Tamara Vasilievna Bogatskaya, San Francisco
Vladika Helps a Child
Hegumen Anastassy from the Old Cathedral advised me to write to you about a blessing which my son Christopher received.
It happened in 1983. Christopher, who was then three years old, went to an eye specialist who found that he had a thirty percent hearing loss, due to an accumulation of liquid behind the ear drum, caused by repeated ear infections. His impaired hearing contributed to a slowness in learning to speak. An operation was scheduled to drain the liquid and implant tubes.
Earlier, that spring, my two older sons (twelve and ten years old), had gone to visit Fr. Anastassy in San Francisco. Brother James, Fr. Anastassy's assistant, showed them Archbishop John's sepulchre and they brought home oil from the vigil lamp burning on his coffin. I anointed Christopher with this oil before his visit to the speech .pathologist, and again two days before his operation, with the words, ever-memorable Archbishop John, heal the ears of my son Christopher."
The next day Christopher had a final examination before the operation. The doctors discovered that his ears had healed close. There was no hearing loss and all the liquid had disappeared. The operation was cancelled. It was a great relief for us, but we were even more amazed by what Christopher told us: 'That man made my ears better." He repeated this several times, until once, after prayers which he finished with the words, 'Thank you for making my ears better," 1 asked, "Who made your ears better?" He pointed to a postcard of Vladika John which stood in the comer with our icons. Again he repeated, "This man made my ears better." He said this so insistently that I know he believes that blessed Vladika John healed his ears and he got better. I don't know how he knows this, but he does; he insists on this, and we believe him. I have no other explanation; I only know that my son is now better and we are very grateful for the prayers of ever blessed Archbishop John.
Agape Kelrenos, Portland, Oregon
From the following incidents from the life of Vladika John, the first was related to me by a clergyman from Shanghai, and the second by a Shanghai merchant, Dimitri Mikhailovich Azovtsev.
1. Vladika John was invited to give communion to a dying man in the Russian hospital in Shanghai. He was accompanied by a 'member of the clergy. While there in the hospital, they saw a cheerful young man in his twenties, playing on a harmonica. He was waiting to be released. Vladika called him: "I want to give you Holy Communion." Then and there the young man had confession and received the Holy Mysteries. The surprised clergyman asked Vladika why, instead of going to the dying man, he took time with someone who was obviously quite well. Vladika answered simply: "He will die tonight, while the one who is critically ill will still live for many years." And so it was.
2, A friend of Dimitri Mikhailovich Azovtsev, also a merchant, had his own car. Driving on the street one day he saw Vladika and stopped to ask his blessing. It was rainy, stormy day. Giving his blessing, Vladika asked the merchant to give him a ride. He gave an address. It was already late evening. They stopped and went into an apartment. The door was opened by the lady of the house. When Vladika asked to see her husband, she told him he was tired; he had had dinner and was already asleep. Nevertheless, Vladika asked that the man be wakened. After confessing him, Vladika gave him Holy Communion. On the way back, the merchant, surprised by all this, asked Vladika why the urgent need to commune an evidently healthy man. "He is going to die tonight," replied Vladika. And so it happened.
Michael P. Biriukov, Stratfield, Australia