St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco is one of the most venerated and loved Saints in the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as in other Orthodox Churches all around the world. Even though the saint fell asleep in the Lord in 1966, many people still feel his intercession today.
There are countless stories about the miracles of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco. We would like to share with you two such stories. Both of them happened to our Convent’s sisters of mercy.
This story was told to us by Sr. Anastasia:
“Saint John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco has a special place in my heart. Even though I don’t bear his name, I still consider him to be my heavenly intercessor and patron.
I always call him the way people addressed him during his lifetime - Vladyka. I often ask for his blessings and talk to him. Vladyka helped me countless times; however, there is one miracle that stands out.
It happened in winter about three years ago. I had a seasonal cold and had to take antibiotics. My body doesn’t tolerate them very well - they always give me gut complications. That evening I took my dose and started to feel strong stomach pain. It got to the point where I felt weak, dizzy and nauseous, I couldn’t move.
My husband and I were supposed to read an akathist to St. John that day. Someone we both knew had serious problems and needed prayerful support.
I couldn’t get up, so I was praying in my bed, while my husband was standing in front of our icons. Before we started reading the akathist, I asked my husband to hand me an icon of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco and put it on my stomach, asking the saint, “Vladyka, help me!”
After the first prayer, my stomach let out a rumbling sound and fell silent. I couldn’t believe it - the pain was gone! When my husband finished reading the akathist, I burst into tears and told him about the miraculous healing I’d experienced.”
Sister of mercy Svetlana experienced this miracle a few years ago:
“My obedience in the Convent was simple - I conducted excursions, during which people were able to learn about the history of the creation of St. Elisabeth Convent, the architecture of our churches, the social service of our sisters of mercy, etc.
At that time, a brand new icon of St John was brought to one of our churches. Every time I walked past it, I noticed the saint’s attentive gaze and a slight smile on his lips. I felt drawn to his image and started spending more time near it. It always made me feel calm.
I thought that I had to tell other people about St John so that they can also receive the help they need.
One day in August, a famous Russian actress was a guest at our Convent. She looked very tired and unwell, I hardly recognized in her the beautiful woman I remembered from her movies.
It seemed like our Convent did not make a great impression on her, she looked noticeably bored. I wanted to please her and make her feel better. So I told her about Saint John’s life, his love and compassion for people; about his special attitude towards children, to whom he always gave candy.
Suddenly, passing the icon of the saint, I noticed something on top of the icon case. I couldn’t believe my eyes - it was candy! I said, “Look, father John prepared a gift for you too!” I gave it to the woman and we both stood there in shock for a moment.
The actress then spent some time praying to Saint John and I witnessed an incredible transformation in her - she looked more alive and beautiful, her eyes were shining, she had a smile on her face.
After the excursion she left me a thank you note. I believe that father John is helping her up to this day.”
If you need some inspiration and guidance, here are a few quotes full of wisdom taken from St John’s sermons:
Sister Anastasia of St Elisabeth Convent tells a story of a miracle performed by St John of Shanghai and San Francisco that she not only witnessed but was also involved with.
We draw our inspiration from the life and works of our patron saint, Grand Duchess Elisabeth. After the assassination of her husband, she went on to found a convent dedicated to ministering to the poor. She was martyred by the Bolsheviks.