The Monk John, Bishop of the Goths

Commemorated on June 26, May 19

      The Monk John, Bishop of the Goths, lived during the VIII Century. The future saint was born amidst the fervent prayer of his parents, and from an early age he pursued asceticism within monasticism. The monk made pilgrimage to Jerusalem and during the course of three years he made the rounds of all the holy places, and then returned to his native country. During this period the emperor Constantine Kopronymos the Iconoclast (741-775) banished the Gothic bishop, and the Gothic christians fervently besought Saint john to become their bishop. Saint John journeyed to Iveria (Gruzia / Georgia), – safely intact from the spread of the Iconoclast heresy, where hands of ordination were put upon him. Upon his return to the Goths he was compelled soon to depart from them and, hidden away from the pursuing Khazars, he settled at Amastrideia, where he dwelt for four years. Hearing about the death of the Khazar kagan (ruler), the saint said: "After 40 days I shall go to be judged with him before Christ the Saviour". Indeed, after 40 days the saint died, and this occurred at the time when he returned to his people with preaching, in the year 790. The body of the saint was conveyed to the Parthenit monastery, situated in the Crimea at the foot of Mount Ayu-Dag, where formerly the saint lived in a large church built by him in the name of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. The memory of Sainted John, Bishop of the Goths, is celebrated also on 26 June.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.