The Venerable John of Korma, a Belarusian saint, built his entire life on the biblical teaching, "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." He gave his last to the needy and used his God-given talents to drive demons from the possessed. After his departure and glorification, he performed multiple healings and became the patron saint of a well-known Belarusian monastery, now named in his honour
Saint John of Korma was born in 1837 in a small village in southeastern Belarus. He assisted his father, a rural priest, at the altar from an early age and enjoyed spending many hours praying. At eighteen years of age, he entered a religious seminary in Mogilev. After graduation, he taught scripture knowledge at a parish school. He married, received ordination as a priest and continued to serve in the village where he was born.
In his service as a parish priest, he was a model of love, dedication, selflessness and endurance in the face of multiple trials and hardships. He gave the cow on which his family depended for milk to a poor widow with five children. He had the power of exorcism. He could pacify the most violent demon-possessed people with only a sign of the cross.
At forty-eight years of age, he finally fulfilled his lifelong dream to visit the Kiev Caves Monastery. He travelled to Kiev soon after the birth of his youngest son. There, he received the blessing from the elders to prepare himself for monastic life. From that moment onwards, he avoided meat. He kept a strict fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, having only one piece of Prosphora bread and some water. He prayed at night and read Jesus' prayer continuously.
He never stopped calling his flock to repentance. He predicted the approach of the times of trouble after the Russian Revolution and the bloody civil war that would ensue. He predicted the time of his departure and fell asleep in the Lord in 1917, shortly before the Russian Revolution.
Not long before his death, he predicted: "After I die, people will dance on my body, but they will not break through my casket." His prophecy came true when the Soviet authorities resumed their anticlerical campaign in the 1950s. They destroyed the church where he served as the priest and built a dance floor in its place. Four decades later, the faithful uncovered his incorrupt relics, took them to the nearby village of Korma and laid them to rest at the Church of the Holy Protection. Multiple miracles connected with his relics happened over the coming years.
On 9 September, his relics were open for veneration. When visitors began to flock, the parish became a convent bearing the saint's name. On 30 November 2017, the Archbishop's Council glorified the venerable John of Korma as a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church.
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