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Saint John of Kronstadt

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Saint John of Kronstadt

Saint John of Kronstadt (Russian: Иоанн Кронштадтский) (October 19, 1829, Sura, Arkhangelsk–December 20, 1908, Kronstadt) was a Russian Orthodox Christian presbyter and a member of the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. He was a striking, unconventional personality, deeply pious and immensely energetic. He was one of the most internationally famous and beloved Orthodox Christian leaders of his time.


He was born as Ivan Ilyich Sergiyev (Russian: Иван Ильич Сергиев) on 19 October 1829 at Sura, near the White Sea, in Russia.

From 1855 he worked as a priest in Saint Andrew's Cathedral, Kronstadt, the naval base on the outskirts of St Petersburg. Here he committed himself to charity, especially to those who were remote from the Church, and travelled extensively throughout the Russian empire. He was a member of the conservative Union of the Russian People, but did not commit himself politically.

In the early 1890s Father John became well known, and people from all over Russia came to him every day in thousands.[1] Even the dying Tsar Alexander III, in 1894, summoned him to Livadia Palace so he could be served communion by John.[2] The bishops treated him with high respect.[3] He was already greatly venerated at the time he died, on 20 December 1908.

In 1909 Nicholas II wrote an order [4] to establish commemoration of St John in the Church. Following it the Holy Synod issued an edict to commemorate Father John annually at the day of his death.

He was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in 1964, and by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1990. Archbishop John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco (later glorified as a Saint, as well) played an active role in preparation of St. John's canonization.[5] His life and work are commemorated on the feast days of December 20[6][7] and October 19.[8]

Many churches around the world and Ioannovsky Convent, the second largest monastic community in St Petersburg are dedicated to John of Kronstadt.


After the 1905 Revolution the false followers of Father John, so-called the Ioannity, formed an underground religious organization that was both deeply anti-socialist and antisemitic, supporting the pogroms of the Black Hundreds movement.[9] Though Father John publicly denounced the 1903 massacre of Jews in Kishinev,[10] he, according to James Webb, later recanted and accused the Jews of causing the violence.[11]

Among emigre Russians, the canonization of John of Kronstadt was criticized by Alexandra Lvovna Tolstaya, the daughter of Leo Tolstoy, because of the priest's negative stance toward her father's apostasy from the Church, though she later reversed her position on this.[12]

Translations of his works

  • Predigt am Tage der Einführung der Allgepriesenen Jungfrau Maria in den Tempel translated by Karl Christian Felmy (in German)
  • Predigt über die Kommunion der heiligen Geheimnisse translated by Karl Christian Felmy (in German)
  • Mein Leben in Christo. Aus dem Tagebuch, Übers. v. S. H. Kurio, München 2008, ISBN 978-3-935217-33-0.
  • Blessed Father John of Kronstadt on Prayer (1966 Jordanville)
  • Counsels on the Christian Priesthood, tr. W. J. Grisbrooke (1994 Crestwood)
  • Spiritual Counsels of Father John of Kronstadt, tr. E. E. Goulaev (1967 London)
  • My Life In Christ Or Moments of Spiritual Serenity ... Extracts From The Diary Of ... John Ilyich Sergieff ... Cronstadt ... Translated ... By E. E. Goulaeff (1897) [1]
  • My Life in Christ at
  • Sorrow and Joy: A Homily on the Day of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God at


External links

  • Saint John of Kronstadt,
  • Biography of St John of Kronstadt, CCEL
  • Pyhä Johannes Kronstadtilainen (Finnish)
  • (Russian)
  • Biography at (Russian)
  • John of Kronstadt on

Further reading

  • Алабовский М., священник. Великий пастырь русского народа. (Блаженной памяти о. Иоанна Кронштадтского). Киев, 1909;
  • Свящ. А. Семенов-Тян-Шанский. Отец Иоанн Кронштадтский. — Изд-во им. Чехова, Нью-Йорк, 1955.
  • Игумения Таисия. Записки. Беседы с отцом Иоанном Кронштадтским. СПб, 2002.
  • Митрополит Вениамин (Федченков). Святой праведный Иоанн Кронштадтский. СПб, 2005.
  • Санакина Т. А., сост. (ГААО), «Из родословной семьи Сергиевых: Иоанн Ильич Сергиев (Кронштадтский) и его семья», Наш храм, 2002, № 2, 2-3.
  • В.В. Антонов, А.В. Кобак. Святыни Санкт-Петербурга. Историко-церковная энциклопедия в трех томах. СПб.: Издательство Чернышева, Т.1, 1994. - 288 с., Т.2, 1996. - 328 с., Т.3, 1996. - 392 с., ил.
  • Walter Laqueur: Der Schoß ist fruchtbar noch. Der militante Nationalismus der russischen Rechten; München 1995; S. 76–83.
  • Alla Selawry: Johannes von Kronstadt: Starez Rußlands; Dornach: Pforte, 1989; ISBN 978-3-85636-064-1
  • Karl Christian Felmy Predigt im orthodoxen Russland. Untersuchungen zu Inhalt und Eigenart der russischen Predigt in der 2. Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts, Göttingen 1972, Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, ISBN 3-525-56428-7
  • Aksenov, R., „Pasi ovzy Moja“. Utschenie o pastyrstwe swjatogo Ioanna Kronschtadtskogo, W pomoschtsch pastyrju, Klin 2002.
  • Akwilonow, E. P., Mysli o. Ioanna Kronschtadtskago o wospitatelnom snatschenii slowa Boschija, St. Petersburg 1909.
  • Bolschakow-Artamonow, N. I., Istotschnik schiwoj wody. Opisanie schisni i dejatelnosti otza Ioanna Kronschtadtskago, St. Petersburg 1910.
  • Duchonina, E. W., Is moich wospominanij ob o. Ioanne Kronschtadtskom, St. Petersburg 1907.
  • Felmy, K. C., La teologia eucaristica di Ioann di Kronstadt, trans. by E. Cosentino, in: La Grande Vigilia, ed. A. Mainardi, Spiritualità orientale, Bose 1998, 225-242.
  • Ioann (Samojlow), Pastyr – sowerschitel Bogosluschenija. Po sotschinenijam swjatogo prawednogo Ioanna Kronschtadtskogo, Sergiew Posad 2007, ISBN 978-5-9900983-1-2.
  • Kizenko, N., A Prodigal Saint. Father John of Kronstadt and the Russian People, Studies of the Harriman Institute, The Penn State Series in Lived Religious Experience, University Park 22003, ISBN 0-271-01976-X.
  • Knechten, H. M., Licht in der Finsternis – Johannes von Kronstadt, Studien zur russischen Spiritualität VII, Kamen 2010, ISBN 978-3-89991-109-1.
  • Konstantin (Sajzew), Duchownyj oblik protoiereja o. Ioanna Kronschtadtskago, Jordanville 1952.
  • Michail (Semenow), Otez Ioann Kronschtadtski. (Polnaja biografija s illjustrazijami), St. Petersburg 1903.
  • Ornatski, I. N., Schitie i trudy prisnopamjatnogo protoiereja prawednika o. Ioanna Kronschtadtskogo, Moskau 1916.
  • Parfeni (Kotow), Spasenie w Zerkwi. Po tworenijam swjatogo prawednogo Ioanna Kronschtadtskogo, Moskau 2004, ISBN 5-85134-063-0.
  • Romuschin, W., Swjatoj Ioann Kronschtadtski w Krymu, Simferopol 2005, ISBN 966-8111-61-3.
  • Schenskaja Surskaja obitel, O. Ioann Kronschtadtski. (Polnaja biografija s illjustrazijami), Archangelsk 2004, ISBN 5-85879-165-4.
  • Smirnowa, E. S., ed., Kronschtadtski pastyr, Zerkowno-istoritscheski almanach, Bd. 1, Moskau 2002, ISBN 5-86809-016-0.
  • Sokolowa, T. A., ed., Swjatoj prawednyj Ioann Kronschtadtski. 1829-1908. Sbornik, Rossijskie sudby 11, Moskau 1998.
  • Strischew, A. N., ed., Swjatoj prawednyj Ioann Kronschtadtski w wospominanijach samowidzew, Moskau 1997.
  • Surski, I. K., Otez Ioann Kronschtadtski, Moskau 2008, ISBN 5-85280-135-6.
  • Tereschtschenko, T. N., Simfonija po tworenijam swjatogo prawednogo Ioanna Kronschtadtskogo, Moskau 2007, ISBN 978-5-485-00141-4.
  • Weniamin (Fedtschenkow), Otez Ioann Kronschtadtski, St. Petersburg 32005, ISBN 5-88335-053-4.
  • Werchowzewa, W. T., Wospominanija ob otze Ioanne Kronschtadtskom jego duchownoj dotscheri, Sergiew Posad 1916.
  • Whyte, A. D., Father John of the Greek Church. An Appreciation, with some characteristic passages of his mystical and spiritual autobiography („My Life in Christ“), Edinburgh, London u. New York 1898.

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