Blessed John the Hairy, of Rostov –
Commemorated on November 12 and September 3
Blessed John the
Merciful of Rostov (also known as "Vlasatyi" – "the
Hairy") asceticised at Rostov in the exploit of holy folly
(iurodstvo), in it enduring deprivation and sorrow. He did not have a permanent
shelter and at times took his rest at the house of his spiritual father – a
priest at the church of the All-Holy ("Veskhsvyatsk"), or with one of
the aged widows. Living in humility, patience and unceasing prayer, he
spiritually nourished many a person, in which number was also the Monk
Irinarkh, Hermit of Rostov (Comm. 13 January). After his lengthy life of
pursuing asceticism he died on 3 September 1580 and was buried, according
to his final wishes, alongside the church of Saint Blaise beyond the altar.
He had "hair upon his head abundantly", wherefore he was called "Vlasatyi" or "Hairy". The title "Merciful" was bestown upon Blessed John for the many healings that occurred at his grave, and also in connection with the memory of the holy Patriarch John the Merciful (VII Century, Comm. 12 November), whose name he had in common.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.