Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco

Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco


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I have visited many times but am now without transportation to S.F. Could you send some blessed oil from the tomb of St. John? I live at 661 w. Pueblo st., reno, nv 89509 and my name is Susan Song. I will send a donation when I have your return address. Thank you very much. Susan
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Happy Feast day! And to the parishioners of the Holy Virgin Cathedral and to whose patron saint is Saint John I wish you all многая лета !

Contact information, map and directions, contact form, opening hours, services, ratings, photos, videos and announcements from Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, Religious Center, 6210 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA.

Operating as usual

[06/29/20]   "He himself taught that, for all the 'mysticism' of our Orthodox Church that is found in the Lives of the Saints and the writings of the Holy Fathers, the true Orthodox person always has both feet firmly on the ground, facing whatever situation is right in front of him. It is in accepting given situations, which requires a loving heart, that one encounters God." - Blessed Seraphim of Platina
on Saint John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco

ИОАНН ШАНХАЙСКИЙ. Старцы. St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco

Русский эмигрант Михаил Максимович принял постриг с именем Иоанн в Сербии, в 30-е годы получил архиерейскую кафедру в Шанхае, бежал вместе с русской общиной ...


Благословение святителя Иоанна Шанхайского снято на видео! Редкий случай, когда можно увидеть ожившую икону святого! Уникальная хроника служения современного чудотворца свт. Иоанна Шанхайского опубликована на сайте американского прихода.

В 2016 году (2 июля) будет отмечаться 50-летие со дня кончины святителя и чудотворца Иоанна Шанхайского и Сан-Францисского (Максимовича) — удивительного милостивого святого, который все время своего архипастырского служения совершал дела милосердия: навещал больных, напутствовал умирающих, утешал страдающих.

Готовясь к этой дате, прихожане храма прп.Серафима Саровского в американском городе Си Клиф собрали и опубликовали редкие кадры служения свт.Иоанна в Серафимовской церкви. Эта уникальная хроника находилась в церковно-приходском архиве.

Кроме свт.Иоанна в полной 13-минутной хронике на сайте прихода можно увидеть митрополита Анастасия (Грибановского), епископа Митрофана (Зноско-Боровского), протоиерея Даниила Думского, первого настоятеля; митрополита Лавра (Шкурлы), сослужившего архиепископу Аверкию (Таушеву) в сане иеродиакона на освящении закладки, а потом в сане иеромонаха на Великом освящении храма; и других деятелей общецерковных и приходских.

Подробнее о свт.Иоанне читайте в нашем собственном репортаже из Сан-Франциско Современный чудотворец: по следам святителя Иоанна Шанхайского -

The Brothers Robinson

A thought on death from the modern Saint John of Shanghai & San Francisco 🌉

St. John of Shanghai. Stand Fast and Watch

"Be careful. Watch out for your soul! Turn your thoughts away from what will soon pass away and turn them towards what is eternal. Here you will find the happiness that your soul seeks, that your heart thirsts for". “Quite right, my son,” said the king. “Keep this lesson in mind for the rest of you life. Be as vigilant over your soul as you were today over the oil in the vessel. Turn your thoughts away from what will soon pass away, and keep them focused on what is eternal.

The First 40 Days after Death explained by St.John of Shanghai and San Francisco Limitless and without consolation would have been our sorrow for close ones who are dying, if the Lord had not given us eternal life. O...

[04/07/18]   "What is most important on the holy day of Pascha is our communion with the Risen Christ, which is principally manifest in the reception of the Holy Mysteries at the holy service, and for which we repeatedly pray in the services of Great Lent. Leaving the Paschal service before the end of Liturgy is a sin - or the result of a lack of understanding of the church service." - St John of Shanghai and San Francisco

[04/05/18]   "Having stretched out His hands upon the Cross, the Saviour with them, as it were, embraced the world, and by His blood shed on it, like a king with red ink, He signed the forgiveness of the human race." - St John Maximovitch

Image of St. John of San Francisco appears on glass of icon case in Ukraine / OrthoChristian.Com His Eminence Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye has confirmed a miracle that occurred with an icon of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco in the Monastery of St. Sava the Sanctified in Melitopol, 415 miles southeast of Kiev.

Brotherhood of St Dionysios

St. John of Shanghai

The doors of repentance are opening, Great Lent is beginning. Every year Great Lent is repeated, and each time it brings us great benefit if we spend it as we should. It is a preparation for the life to come and, more immediately, a preparation for the Bright Resurrection.
Just as a stairway is built into a tall building in order to enable one, by climbing the steps, to easily reach the top, so too, the various days in the year serve as steps for our spiritual ascent.

This is especially true of the days of Great Lent and Holy Pascha.

By means of Great Lent we cleanse ourselves of the filth of sin, and at Holy Pascha we experience the blessedness of Christ's Kingdom that is to come. In climbing a high mountain, one tries to eliminate all unnecessary weight. The less a person carries, the easier it is for him to climb and the higher he is able to climb. So, too, in order to ascend spiritually, it is necessary first of all to free oneself from the weight of sin. This weight is lifted from us through repentance, provided that we banish from ourselves all enmity and forgive each person whom we consider to be at fault before us. Once cleansed and forgiven by God, we then greet the Bright Resurrection of Christ.

And what a priceless gift of God we receive, at the culmination of our lenten struggle. We already hear about this in the first hymns of the daily lenten stichera: "Our food shall be the Lamb of God, on the holy and radiant night of His Awakening: the Victim offered for us, given in communion to the disciples on the evening of the Mystery." (Aposticha sticheron, Sunday of the Last Judgment).

Communing of the Body and Blood of the Risen Christ, unto life eternal — this is the aim of the holy Quadragesima [Forty Days]. Not only on Pascha do we commune, but during Lent also. On Pascha those people should commune who have fasted, confessed and received the Holy Mysteries during Great Lent. Just before Pascha itself there is little opportunity for a proper and thorough confession; the priests are very busy and most of the time occupied with the Passion services. Rather one must prepare ahead of time.

Each time one receives the Mysteries of Christ, one is united with Christ Himself; each time it is a soul-saving act. Why, then, is such significance attached to receiving Holy Communion on the night of Holy Pascha, and why are we all called to do so?

Then, especially, we are given to experience the Kingdom of Christ. Then, especially, we are illumined with the Eternal Light and strengthened for the spiritual ascent.

This is an irreplaceable gift of Christ, an incomparable good. Let no one deprive himself of this joy and, instead of receiving Holy Communion on Pascha night, hasten to eat meat and other foods. Communing of the Holy Mysteries on that night prepares us for the banquet in the eternal Kingdom of God.

St. John of Shanghai

Orthodox Courtship | for traditional Christian relationships

[02/02/18]   "Having stretched out His hands upon the Cross, the Saviour with them, as it were, embraced the world, and by His blood shed on it, like a king with red ink, He signed the forgiveness of the human race." - St John Maximovitch

Miracle by St. John Maximovitch The vestments of St.John Maximovitch A few years ago, in the tow...

"The more a man finds himself under the action of the grace of Communion and the more closely he binds himself to Christ, the more he will inherit communion with Christ in His Kingdom which is to come." - St John of Shanghai and San Francisco

St. John of Shanghai . I Look for the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Life of the Age to Come / OrthoChristian.Com Our grief for our loved ones who have died should be inconsolable and boundless, had the Lord not given us eternal life. Our life would be senseless if it ended in death. What benefit would there be from virtue, or from good deeds? Then they would be right who say, “Let us eat, drink, and be merry,…

Orthodox Faith

St John Maximovitch and That Most Awkward Halloween

St John (Maximovitch) Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco is best remembered for his gentleness, but when a certain incident aroused his sternness, he was up for the challenge.

"At the end of October, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the feast of All Saints. There is a tradition that during the preceding night the dark spirits celebrated their own festival of disorder. In America, this "celebration" called Halloween has become an occasion on which children make mischief dressed in costumes of witches, devils, ghosts as if calling on the dark powers — a diabolic mockery of Christianity. A group of Russians organized on this night a Halloween Ball. In the San Francisco Cathedral at this time was the All-night Vigil celebrated, and a number of people were absent, to the great sorrow of Vladika. After the service, Vladika went to the place where the ball was still in progress. He climbed the steps and entered the hall, to the absolute astonishment of the participants. The music stopped and Vladika, in complete silence, glared at the dumbfounded people, slowly and deliberately making the round of the entire hall, staff in hand. He spoke not a word, and none was necessary; the mere sight of Vladika stung the conscience of all, as was evident from the general consternation. Vladika left in silence. The next day in church he thundered his holy indignation and his flaming zeal calling all to the devout Christian life."

(Missionary Leaflet # EA10, Copyright © 2001 Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission. Editor: Bishop Alexander (Mileant))

Brotherhood of St Dionysios


Archpriest Peter Perekrestov

The relics of John of Shanghai and San Francisco were opened on October 13 1993. The Church marks this event on October 12. Archpriest Peter Perekrestov, an eyewitness of this event, told us about how everything happened.

Vladika John passed away in 1966 while visiting Seattle with the wonder-working Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. After the service, he went to his cell and soon afterwards was found reposed before the icon. The funeral was held in San Francisco, but not immediately, because it took quite a bit of time for all the bishops to assemble. Metropolitan Laurus (then Igumen Laurus) and Archbishop Averky (Taushev) traveled for three days by car from Jordanville - almost three thousand miles. Although Vladika John's body had not been embalmed, it showed no signs of decay before or after the funeral service. San Francisco's Board of Supervisors had given the Holy Virgin Cathedral parish council special permission to bury the Archbishop within the city confines, under the church building. We used to have a storage room in the basement. It was this room that was transformed into the sepulcher where Vladika John's remains were laid to rest.

People began going to his tomb before the glorification, as was the case with Blessed Xenia in St. Petersburg. Initially they prayed for Vladika John, but then they started praying to him, leaving him their lists of names. And numerous miracles occurred. I would say that the veneration of Saint John and the process of his glorification began as a grassroots movement and was not one directed from above. His veneration was growing at a rapid pace, and thus the question of his canonization arose relatively soon. However, it was a great miracle that a decision regarding his canonization was made.

At that time, the head of our Russian Church Abroad was Metropolitan Vitaly (Ustinov), and it is no secret that he had not been favorably disposed toward Archbishop John. As a result, Vladika Vitaly was not very popular in San Francisco. Nevertheless, Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev), who was the ruling hierarch of the Western American Diocese, told me after he returned from the Synod meeting in September 1993: "You won't believe what just happened. At the Synod meeting, I suggested that materials for the possible glorification of Archbishop John be collected, and Metropolitan Vitaly unexpectedly said: 'Let's glorify him'!"

After this turn of events, it was decided to open Vladika John's remains. Archbishop Anthony invited Archbishop Laurus, to whom he was very close and trusted greatly, as well as several priests, including an archimandrite who used to be Archbishop John's main acolyte. The keeper of the sepulcher was also invited.

For some reason, there are particular days where every single detail is remembered. Father Alexander Schmemann reflects on this in his diaries. We can forget details of very important days: our wedding or ordination days, but some days and moments are never forgotten. We recall every detail: what the weather was like, the color of people's clothing. For example, although I served with Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev) for twenty years, I remember only certain moments well. I can close my eyes and feel him sitting nearby, see him separating his Panagia and Cross on his chest, and clearly see his exact facial expression. In the same way, I remember the day when holy Vladika John's relics were opened: It was like a small Pascha.

I think most of us have never opened up a coffin after twenty five years have passed since the burial. From a human perspective, I felt trepidation and some reluctance before the opening of St. John's remains. I was a young priest, and I honestly couldn't say I felt too comfortable around dead bodies. At about 9:00 p.m. we went down to the sepulcher and began serving a Panikhida. Our wives and children knew about this. Although Vladika Anthony asked us to keep this a secret, we convinced him that we could not keep this a secret from our wives. They would ask where we were going at that hour. Vladika Anthony then gave us his permission to tell them.

They were waiting for us at home with great anxiety. Several days before the opening of the relics, a small delegation had gone down to the sepulcher to investigate things. The delegation consisted of three clergymen, one of them being a carpenter. The casket was in an aboveground concrete sarcophagus. The delegation needed to know in advance how the extremely heavy cover of the sarcophagus would be removed. Because of their efforts, when we went to open the remains, we knew what needed to be done. Two-by-fours, a crowbar, sheets, and other items had been prepared. We lifted the cover of the sarcophagus and saw a corroded metal casket under it. The casket was covered by a bishop's mantle, the one that had been put there on the day of Archbishop John's funeral. The mantle was intact. Then the coffin was raised slightly with ropes, but it started to collapse because it had completely rusted through in many places. So we put the two-by-fours under the casket to support it. The next step was to open the casket lid.

The key to the lid had been kepy by one hieromonk for more than twenty five years. He came up to the casket and solemnly put the key into the keyhole, but the lid would not open. It has rusted through, and the lock did not work. Then our protodeacon got down to business and tried to force open the lid with a crowbar. He was a very strong Russian and weighed around 375 pounds. However, Archbishop Anthony did not approve of this use of brute force, believing it is not proper and pious to open the lid in such a manner, so he stopped the protodeacon, crossed himself, closed his eyes, and started reading the 50th Psalm.

I would like to step back for a moment and recall the events that led up to this. When my wife and I were deciding whether or not to move to San Francisco, she was quite hesitant, because we would be living very far from family. In the Russian Church Abroad, we do not have such a strict policy in regards to clergy assignments and transfers like they have in Russia. Usually a bishop will make a proposal and the priest can either agree or refuse. The quandary is that many of our priests have secular jobs, and not everyone can leave his job, because not every parish can provide its clergy with a decent salary. So we went to San Francisco for a "scouting" trip. I had more superficial reasons for moving there. I was thinking of the grand cathedral, of the numerous youth, the large Russian population, and the active parish school. But my wife was a bit skeptical about those things. We saw the city, got to meet some of the clergy, and right before our departure were invited by Vladika Anthony to his residence. Archbishop Anthony lived alone. He did not have a cell attendant or a driver. He would usually use the city buses and always carried a briefcase with him. When he went shopping, he would even put his food purchases in that leather briefcase. The Archbishop greeted us at the door, sat us down, and started to cook everything by himself. When the food was ready, he faced the icon corner and said the Lord's Prayer. My wife later remarked that she had never seen anyone reading "Our Father" in such a way. Vladika Anthony was not simply reading a prayer; he was standing before the living God, addressing Him. There was no formal element in his prayer. When we left Archbishop Anthony's quarters, I asked my wife: "Well Lena, what do you think?" and she replied: "With a bishop like that, one can live and serve anywhere." That was the deciding factor for us in regards to our move to California.solemnly put the key into the keyhole, but the lid would not open. It had rusted through, and the lock did not work. Then our protodeacon got down to business and tried to force open the lid with a crowbar. He was a very strong Russian and weighed around 375 pounds. However, Archbishop Anthony did not approve of this use of brute force, believing it is not proper and pious to open the lid in such a manner, so he stopped the protodeacon, crossed himself, closed his eyes, and started reading the 50th Psalm.

This same bishop was praying during the opening of St. John's relics. Vladika Anthony completed Psalm 50, took the lid, and it opened with ease. It is my opinion that we could not open the lid from the very beginning because God wanted the relics to be uncovered by Archbishop Anthony, a man of high spiritual life and purity. The lid opened, and we glimpsed St. John's vestments. Initially they were white but now had become green. It seemed they were moldy. We then touched the vestments, and they fell apart in our hands because of decomposition. When a priest is buried, his face is covered with an aer: the one that is used to cover the Holy Gifts at the Liturgy. Such an aer was covering St. John's face. Archbishop Anthony crossed himself and raised up the aer covering Vladika John's face. This was the moment when I saw Archbishop John's face for the first time. His face and body were intact - they were incorrupt - and we were laying eyes on true relics.

Vladika Anthony appointed me the photographer of this event. I was taking pictures with a film camera (this was 1993). I ran out of film and rushed home. All the lights were on in our apartment-it was like the Pascha. Although it was around midnight, my wife was waiting for me. I began saying loudly: "He is incorrupt! His relics are incorrupt!" I then grabbed some film and ran back to the sepulcher. Matushka started to phone others to share our joy. When I came back to the sepulcher, a sick boy was brought to the relics who was a son of one of our diocesan priests. Archbishop Anthony gave his blessing for the boy to touch the relics. And the boy was healed. Now he is completely healthy, much taller than I, and plays college rugby. A wooden casket had been prepared in advance to replace the metal one that had rusted away. We placed the relics in the wooden casket, closed it, and left the sepulcher praising God.

The preparations for the glorification were moving ahead quickly. New vestments were being sewn for St. John. In several months, we opened the relics a second time in order to wash them and vest Vladika, but we were not sure how to go about doing this. There was no reference book with detailed instructions on relics are to be washed and prepared before a glorification service. Archbishop Anthony was searching all his books. He did find some historical data on canonizations, including a description of how St. Theodosy of Chernigov and St. Ioasaph of Belgorod were glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church. He also found some articles in the publication The Church Herald and other old periodicals. There was some information there, but we had to figure out most things for ourselves. In Russia, perestroika had only just begun, and the opening of relics was not yet widespread. There was nobody to ask. We washed St. John's relics using water, oil, and rosewater. Initially, his skin seemed light in color, almost white, but it turned a rather dark amber color after it was washed. I combed out his hair and beard (I even found several hairs in the comb afterwards). We changed his vestments and left him in the sepulcher until 1994, when he was glorified on the day of his repose, July 2.

Before St. John Maximovitch's canonization, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia had canonized Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg, St. John of Kronstadt, and the New Martyrs of Russia. There were many requests and pleas that these saints be glorified. Even St. Nicholai (Velimirovic) of Serbia had written to the Synod of Bishops asking ROCOR to glorify St. John of Kronstadt. Metropolitan Anastassy, who was the First Hierarch of ROCOR at that time, was against the idea of canonizing St. John of Kronstadt because he felt that such an act might in some way usurp the full authority of the whole Russian Orthodox Church. When Metropolitan Philaret was elected First Hierarch, though, the glorification of St. John of Kronstadt did take place.

The glorification of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco took place as follows: First, the relics were brought from the sepulcher to the cathedral proper and placed in the center of the church. A Panikhida was then served, the last one for Archbishop John. At the end of the Panikhida, an icon of St. John, wrapped in a cloth, was laid upon the closed reliquary. The Panikhida finished with the words: "May God bless and give him rest, and by his holy prayers have mercy on us." After the Panikhida, the All-Night Vigil began at which the stichera (verses) to the new saint were sung. During the litya, when a list of saints is remembered, St. John was mentioned for the first time: "our father among the saints John, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker, whose glorification is presently taking place, and all the saints..." That Vigil was unforgettable!

During the polyeleos, the Metropolitan came up to the reliquary, untied the icon of St. John that was on top of it, and two tall priests raised it on high so the faithful could see it. Afterwards, the reliquary lid was lifted and everyone could see St. John's relics. Immediately, all present did a full prostration and the numerous clergy sang the Magnification to the new saint.

The glorification service was beautiful and truly conciliar, with the participation of numerous faithful. It was also one of the most important spiritual events in my life. And I will not cease to remark that our generation is truly an extremely blessed one. Not one generation has received so many mercies from God as we have: We have not experienced wars, and we have witnessed the rebirth of church life in Russia and the glorification of the New Martyrs and St. John. In addition to these blessings, we have witnessed and taken part in a great and unprecedented miracle: the unification of the two parts of the Russian Church!

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6210 Geary Blvd
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