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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.