At no time in history did God leave us without evidence of His existence. Always and at all times our Lord, worshipped as the Trinitarian God, has given us signs and witness about Himself. Such a witness of God in our present times is the holy relic of the uncorrupted body of Saint John the Russian, the New Confessor, which is enshrined in the village of Prokopi, on the island of Euboea.
A saint is a revelation in microcosm of the whole truth concerning God, man and the world. Thus, also, the holy relic of an uncorrupted body is a silent but at the same time most eloquent verification of the Incarnation of God and the deification of man, of man’s victory over death through Jesus Christ and the swallowing up of mortality by life, a continuous affirmation of the truth that “the Lord our God lives”.
The holy relic of a saint’s body is for every devout pilgrim a revelation of the capacity of man to overcome death, to partake in divine life and to become the very ground where God is disclosed, a sign of His presence among His people.
This presence shown forth in Saint John through the multitude of his miracles is also revealed in this present book which was written by the Archpriest of the Holy Shrine, Father ioannis Vrentzos, a witness himself of many of the Saints miracles, and it has been translated into English by his daughters, Emmeleia and Anthousa, with the purpose of making this great Saint of our Church known to those who do not speak the Greek language.
Saint John the Russian lived far from his homeland, far from parents, brothers, relatives, in a foreign land where a different religion was practised, suffering hardships and persecuted for his faith, and scammed by men, but nothing of all this prevented him from achieving holiness and being divinized. Certainly, God kept the holy relic of his body entire and uncorrupted by the ravages of time so that those crossing the sea of our present life amid sadness and difficulties can, by reading about his life and the great number of his miracles, take strength for life’s battle and not give up the spiritual fight, and in his person find an ever present and ready help in times of need. With the conviction that many will be the benefits from studying the life and miracles of this great Saint of our Church whose intercession we beseech for everyone, I give to all my fatherly and patriarchal blessing,
Bartholomaios Patriarch of Constantinople