The Holy Martyr John the Warrior
Commemorated on July 30
The Holy Martyr
John the Warrior served in the imperial army of the emperor Julian the
Apostate (361-363). Amidst other soldiers he was dispatched to seek out and
kill Christians. Keeping up the external appearances of being a persecutor,
Saint John in fact rendered great help to persecuted Christians: those who had
been arrested – he set free, others he warned of dangers threatening them, and
assisted in their flight. Saint John showed charity not only to Christians, but
to all the destitute and those needing help: he visited with the sick, and he consoled
the grieving. When Julian the Apostate learned about the actions of the saint,
he ordered him locked up in prison.
In the year 363 Julian the Apostate was killed in his war with the Persians. Saint John was set free and devoted his life to service of neighbour, and he lived in holiness and purity. He died in his old age.
The precise year of his death is unknown, and the place of burial of Saint John the Warrior was gradually forgotten. But then he appeared to a certain pious woman and indicated the place of his repose. It became known throughout the region. His uncovered relics were placed in a church of the Apostle John the Theologian in Constantinople. The Lord granted the relics of Saint John the Warrior the graced power of healing. Through the prayers of Saint John the aggrieved and sorrowing received comfort.
In the Russian Church, Saint John the Warrior is sacredly revered as a great intercessor in sorrows and difficult circumstances.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.