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John of Kronstadt Wonderworker was born October 19, 1829 in the village of Sura, Pinega Uyezd, Arkhangelsk Province. His father, the rural deacon Elijah Sergiev, brought up in his son a passionate love for worship. On December 12, 1855, the priesthood was consecrated, after which the life of Father John was forever associated with the city of Kronstadt.
At that time, among the inhabitants of Kronstadt, there was prosperity and heterodoxy. Every day Father John visited the poor dwellings of the townspeople, talked with them, consoled, nursed the sick, distributed everything he had, often returning home even without boots. Unusual behavior of the young priest began to cause criticism, but he, with God's help, continued to do charity: "We must love every man and his sin and shame him. It is not necessary to confuse man - the image of God - with the evil that is in him. "
Soon a wonderful gift was opened in Father John, which glorified him throughout Russia and beyond. Through his prayer, many miraculous miracles were performed. All believing Russia flowed to the great miracle-worker for salvation, huge sums of money were donated to him, donated to charity. On them he arranged a wonderful institution in Kronstadt - "House of diligence" - with a school, a church, workshops and a shelter, founded a convent in his native village and erected a large stone church; in St. Petersburg he built a convent at Karpovka and daily fed a thousand beggars .
According to witnesses, Father John was truly a mediator between God and people, interceding for their sins and a wonderful preacher. Despite his extraordinary employment, Father John found time to lead a spiritual diary. His book "My Life in Christ" was translated into several foreign languages shortly after the publication.
To the heavy feat of service to people in the last years of the life of Father John, a painful illness joined him, which he humbly and patiently endured, never complaining to anyone. On December 20, 1908, the great righteous peacefully departed to the Lord, predicting in advance the day of his death. They buried Father John in the church-tomb, specially arranged for him in the basement of the monastery on Karpovka, and the day of death became a day of his bright memory, which is borne by thousands of Christians.