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Saint John Maximovitch of San Francisco

About Saint John Maximovitch

Saint John Maximovitch, often referred to as Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, is one of the most beloved figures in modern Orthodox Christianity. A bishop, wonderworker, and ascetic, his life was marked by profound piety, unwavering faith, and a deep love for all, especially the suffering and needy.

Feast Day

July 2

Birth Place

Adamovka, Ukraine


June 4, 1896


July 2, 1966
Saint John Maximovitch of San Francisco

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Early Life and Education


Early Life and Education

Born as Michael Maximovitch in 1896 in the Kharkov region of what is now Ukraine, he came from a noble family. Showing an early inclination towards spiritual matters, he pursued theological studies in Belgrade and later took monastic vows, receiving the name John in honor of his own relative, Saint John of Tobolsk.


Ecclesiastical Career

John's episcopal journey began in Shanghai, where he was consecrated as a bishop for the Russian émigré community in the 1930s. In Shanghai, he was renowned not just for his spiritual leadership but also for his tireless work among orphans, the poor, and all those suffering. His orphanage in Shanghai became a haven for many.

After the communists took over China, Saint John helped relocate many of his flock to the Philippines and eventually to the United States. He served as a bishop in various places, including Western Europe, but it was in San Francisco that his legacy became deeply rooted.

Ecclesiastical Career

Later Life and Canonization


Later Life and Canonization

Saint John was known for his strict ascetic life, often going without sleep or food. Many witnessed him in states of deep prayer and levitation. His life was also marked by countless miracles - healing the sick, aiding those in distress, and even prophesying. His deep devotion to the Mother of God was evident, and he was instrumental in the completion of the Cathedral of the Joy of All Who Sorrow in San Francisco, which houses an icon of the Mother of God "of all who sorrow."

Saint John reposed in 1966 in Seattle and was interred in San Francisco at the cathedral he so loved. Soon after his death, many reported miracles attributed to his intercessions. Recognizing his sanctity, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia canonized him in 1994.



Saint John Maximovitch remains a shining beacon of holiness in modern times. He bridged the old world with the new, bringing the timeless truths of Orthodoxy to the shores of North America. His life of prayer, service, and love serves as a testament to the transformative power of genuine Christian faith.

For those seeking a more profound connection with Saint John and wishing to explore his teachings and miracles, we invite you to delve into our collection here. Embark on a spiritual journey with one of Orthodoxy's modern-day giants.



Where are the relics of Saint John Maximovitch of San Francisco

The relics of Saint John Maximovitch of San Francisco, also known as Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, are enshrined in the Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, California. This cathedral is often referred to as the "Joy of All Who Sorrow" Cathedral. Saint John, known for his holiness, miracles, and pastoral care, was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in 1994. Since his canonization, the cathedral has become an important pilgrimage site for many Orthodox Christians who come to venerate his relics and seek his intercessions.

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Works written by Saint Nektarios

The Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God by St. John Maximovitch

"He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden; for all generations shall call me blessed." Properly understanding Mary, the Mother of God, is crucial for comprehending Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God. Distorting her image inadvertently distorts her Son's. This succinct book explains the Orthodox Christian Church's age-old veneration of the Mother of God and the misconceptions that have tried to alter or diminish this respect. It clarifies why the Virgin Mary is aptly called the Mother of God and deserves reverence across generations, while also addressing misconceptions about her sinlessness and role in redemption. Authored by St. John Maximovitch, known for his spiritual connection with the Mother of God, and translated by his disciple Hieromonk Seraphim Rose, this work offers insights from deeply devout perspectives.

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Sermons and Writings of Saint John

This four-book series showcases St. John's sermons and writings, reflecting his wisdom, passion for truth, and dedication to the salvation of God's people. His guidance remains pertinent for today's Christians. Each book spans 64 pages, features high-quality printing, and is adorned with colorful images and icons.

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History of Orthodoxy in the United States

Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States: A Vibrant Tapestry of Faith in a Melting Pot of Traditions

Uncover the vibrant tapestry of Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States, a country where this ancient faith has carved out a distinctive identity within its melting pot of religious traditions. With a history that spans more than a century, Orthodoxy in America reflects a rich blend of cultures, ethnicities, and traditions from around the world.
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Download the 2024 Lives of the Saints Calendar

This 365-page daily calendar book features the life of an Orthodox saint, insightful teachings from the Saints and elders of the Church, a list of all commemorations for the day, Gospel and Epistle readings, fasting guidelines, and references to feasts. The stories include the lives of Greek, Russian, Georgian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, English, Celtic, and American saints.

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