St. John the Wonderworker, Bishop of Shanghai and San Francisco Icon
Orthodox Icon of Saint John Maximovich the Wonderworker or Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco.
Commemorated July 2nd.
Saint John the Wonderworker was born in the village of Adamovka in the Kharkov Governorate (in present-day southern Ukraine). After receiving a law degree he and his family fled their country as the Bolshevik revolutionaries descended on the country, emigrating to Yugoslavia. There, he enrolled in the Department of Theology of the University of Belgrade. He was tonsured a monk and ordained a deacon in 1926 and later that year ordained to the priesthood. In he was ordained a bishop and assigned to the diocese of Shanghai. Here Saint John worked to restore unity among the various Orthodox nationalities.
He became known for miracles attributed to his prayer, ministered to the sick, and built churches, hospitals, and orphanages among the Orthodox and Russians of Shanghai. With the end of World War II and the coming to power of the Communists in China the Russian colony was forced to flee from Shanghai. Saint John travelled to Washington, D.C. to lobby to amending the law to allow these refugees to enter the United States.
In 1951 John was assigned to the archdiocese of Western Europe with his see first in Paris, then in Brussels. In 1962 John was reassigned to the see of San Francisco. On July 2, 1966 St. John died while visiting Seattle at a time and place he was said to have foretold. He was entombed in a sepulcher beneath the altar of the Holy Virgin Cathedral he had built in San Francisco dedicated to the Theotokos, Joy of all who Sorrow on Geary Boulevard in the Richmond district.
2 July 1994 In preparation for this glorification, the tomb containing his relics was opened. When the sepulcher cover was removed, the metal coffin was found to be in a poor state of preservation due to moisture. Rust has eaten through the coffin and the cover was rusted tightly shut.The relics (the body) of Archbishop John, however, were found to be totally incorrupt. His skin was white an soft, and upon lifting out his body it was found to be very light due to dehydration but was totally intact. Those who came forward to venerate the relic discovered that they exuded a sweet fragrance.