Akathist Hymn to Saint John of Kronstadt, Miracleworker

Kontakion 1

Dear God in Heaven, we thank You for the life and works of Your virtuous priest, Saint John of Kronstadt, who presented the pure teachings of the Church to the faithful and also to the critics and to the lost. Since we desire his holy intercession and guidance, we wholeheartedly declare:

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Ikos 1

Saint John, you began your life of holiness and goodwill as a boy serving in the altar, and then went faithfully onward into your days as a priest healing the sick. In every place and among all people, you gave glory to God for sending you forth to serve those in need:

Rejoice, benevolent priest who taught and lived the message of Christ.

Rejoice, steadfast servant who labored and sacrificed for the Church.

Rejoice, for you beheld truth and love in every word of the Bible.

Rejoice, for you found sacred meaning in every thought of the Fathers.

Rejoice, fruitful branch who joyfully reached out to the destitute.

Rejoice, Cathedral pastor who gladly watered the seedlings of faith.

Rejoice, for in your soul there was no separation from others.

Rejoice, for in your heart there was no hindrance to friendship.

Rejoice, sacred flame who exposed the wasteland of atheism.

Rejoice, Godly theologian who preached the wisdom of the apostles.

Rejoice, for you prized your countrymen as images of God.

Rejoice, for you valued all people for whom Christ gave His life.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 2

You were born to Elias and Theodora, in the year 1829, on the feast day of Saint John of Rylsk. Your parents had few resources, but your father was a reader in the Church and you were raised as a true son of the True Father. Even as a child, Saint John of Kronstadt, you confidently said: Alleluia.

Ikos 2

Saint John, you thereby inherited all the spiritual riches of the Heavenly Father, including abundant knowledge and hearty fortitude. For as a boy, you were sickly and a slow learner. Yet, this only prompted you to pray to God for help, and He amazingly came to your aid:

Rejoice, youth who realized the blessings of God as vital to happiness.

Rejoice, schoolboy who drew near to God and thrived in His healing.

Rejoice, for you depended on God and not on pretenders of greatness.

Rejoice, for you looked to God and not to illusions of wellbeing.

Rejoice, faithful one who chose prayer over idle conversation.

Rejoice, wise one who chose obedience over vain gratification.

Rejoice, for falsehood never proceeded from your lips.

Rejoice, for inattention never ate away your prayers.

Rejoice, child of God who was at home with the saints and martyrs.

Rejoice, follower of Christ who lived for His Body and Blood.

Rejoice, for you found your true being among the holy icons.

Rejoice, for you established an early foundation in right worship.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 3

As you grew into an excellent student of theology as well as a man of piety, you desired to become a missionary among the native peoples of Siberia or Alaska. However, God directed you to the St. Andrew Cathedral, which you had beheld in a childhood vision, and you obediently said: Alleluia.

Ikos 3

Saint John, you married Elizabeth, the daughter of a priest, and then you were ordained to the priesthood. You lived with your wife as though you were her brother, for God called you to serve the Cathedral with all your being and to personally enfold the families of Kronstadt and beyond:

Rejoice, doer of the will of the Sovereign God.

Rejoice, recipient of the grace to uphold His plan.

Rejoice, for you found tranquility in serving the Father Almighty.

Rejoice, for you fulfilled your life in the priesthood as you were chosen.

Rejoice, enlightener of men and women who had no other help.

Rejoice, illuminator of a civilization declining from within.

Rejoice, for you knew the only source of peace for the heart.

Rejoice, for you understood the only way of survival in the homeland.

Rejoice, beloved pastor of all nations seeking righteousness.

Rejoice, strong support of every citizen who takes up the cross.

Rejoice, for all true believers are your posterity.

Rejoice, for every baptized person is your heir.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 4

Father John, it became your holy routine to celebrate the Divine Liturgy every day. This involved rising early in the morning to say your prayers, and then walking to the Cathedral for Matins and Liturgy. You slept little, but God replenished you exceedingly, and you gratefully said: Alleluia.

Ikos 4

You poured out your love for God and Church, and you never celebrated the Liturgy without giving a simple yet profound sermon, reaching the faithful of Kronstadt and the many visitors who came to see and hear you. We also gather as a royal priesthood, as though in the Cathedral with you:

Rejoice, blessed feet entering through the narrow gate.

Rejoice, beautiful voice preaching the word of God.

Rejoice, for you thrived as a priest with divine zeal.

Rejoice, for you prayed as a mortal with a Godly gift.

Rejoice, clear-minded disciple in a crumbling society.

Rejoice, right-thinking theologian in a turbulent era.

Rejoice, for you assembled with the angels and archangels.

Rejoice, for you prayed to your Guardian Angel for daily help.

Rejoice, intercessor for the least and for the multitudes.

Rejoice, advocate for your city and for your nation.

Rejoice, for you continued in holiness from the Liturgy to the streets.

Rejoice, for you conducted yourself as a Temple of God.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 5

The city of Kronstadt was a warehouse for St. Petersburg, the capital of Russia at the time, for the vagrants and undesirables were sent there. Nevertheless, God in His mercy sent you, Father John, to assist and comfort these people in their misery, and you eagerly said: Alleluia.

Ikos 5

Saint John, you actually sought them out: the criminals and unemployed, the alcoholics and beggars, and you ministered to their bodies and souls. Your family upbraided you, your elders scolded you, the worldly ridiculed you, but you persisted in the will of God and in the message of the Bible:

Rejoice, Good Samaritan of the byways and shantytowns.

Rejoice, spiritual father of many prodigal sons and daughters.

Rejoice, for you restored the wretched to dignity.

Rejoice, for you released the disgraced from shame.

Rejoice, Christ-like figure who was reproached for doing good.

Rejoice, angelic man who was rebuked by religious superiors.

Rejoice, for you nursed the sick back to health.

Rejoice, for you cradled the children in your arms.

Rejoice, gatherer of the exiles back into the fold.

Rejoice, rescuer of the forgotten from the bottom of existence.

Rejoice, for you never judged by appearances.

Rejoice, for you always discerned the spirits.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 6

Your days were filled with holy prayers at the St. Andrew Cathedral and with charitable deeds in the slums of Kronstadt. Truly, Father John, you exemplified the monastic standard of work and prayer while living in the world. For, it was the world that needed you, that all might say: Alleluia.

Ikos 6

Saint John, though you were berated  as excessively generous, the poor of Kronstadt regarded you as saintly. You became their spiritual father, and often the only true father figure they had ever known. Accordingly, you pointed them to the Heavenly Father and gave Him all tribute:

Rejoice, wholesome boy who became a wondrous man of God.

Rejoice, Cathedral priest who prepared for the Day of Judgment.

Rejoice, for you were hidden in prayer.

Rejoice, for you were recognized in charity.

Rejoice, bearer of the hardships of others.

Rejoice, preserver of a benevolent disposition.

Rejoice, for you renounced bondage to impurities.

Rejoice, for you cherished your baptism into Christ.

Rejoice, able father who radiated holiness in the altar and in the ghetto.

Rejoice, paternal intercessor who regarded each person as God’s gift.

Rejoice, for you beautified Kronstadt with your righteousness.

Rejoice, for you clothed the multitudes with God’s mercies.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 7

Let us not forget, that added onto your liturgical and charitable duties, Saint John, you were also a teacher of religion for many years. You taught at a high school and an elementary school in Kronstadt, developing young minds and hearts to love God and to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 7

As a teacher, your lessons were not only scholarly, but overflowing with love for these children whom God placed under your care. You were filled with inspiration from the Holy Spirit to speak to their needs. Saint John, each child was precious to you, and you thanked God for them:

Rejoice, priest who gave birth to children in Christ.

Rejoice, father who had many spiritual descendants.

Rejoice, for God motivated you to teach and the children to learn.

Rejoice, for the Holy Spirit directed their educational path.

Rejoice, teacher who perceived each child’s potential to thrive.

Rejoice, humanitarian who noticed the little ones who were sick.

Rejoice, for not only did you love them but you liked them.

Rejoice, for not only did you teach them but you nourished them.

Rejoice, slow learner who himself was healed by God.

Rejoice, excellent theologian who was constantly learning of God.

Rejoice, for in your classroom all children understood their lessons.

Rejoice, for under your instruction no child was left in darkness.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 8

A new phase of life began for you, Saint John, when God gave you the gift of healing others through your prayers or the laying-on of your hands. The working of miracles would not only change the lives of others, but would require great adjustment on your part, yet you continued to say: Alleluia.

Ikos 8

Saint John, you healed people of diseases and disorders, and not just the Orthodox, but Catholics, Jews, and Muslims in your wondrous love and mercy toward mankind. Even non-believers were converted to the True Church in witness of your Christ-like demeanor:

Rejoice, healer of men and women in conditions of agony.

Rejoice, caregiver of Christ Himself through the least on earth.

Rejoice, for you knew truth but you repelled arrogance and bias.

Rejoice, for you fought error but you never refused a sincere request.

Rejoice, miracleworker who healed beyond medical knowledge.

Rejoice, spiritual physician who readied souls for Heaven.

Rejoice, for you loved from within your soul most deep.

Rejoice, for you healed from faith in God Most High.

Rejoice, unceasing representation of meekness.

Rejoice, everlasting true branch of the True Vine.

Rejoice, for you were a continuous sunrise over the city of Kronstadt.

Rejoice, for you were already known as “John of Kronstadt.”

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 9

Father John, you humbly accepted your ability to heal as a new obedience to God, for your reputation spread throughout Kronstadt and farther. The Cathedral daily filled with thousands of people looking to be healed, to be blessed or to touch your vestments, for everyone said: Alleluia.

Ikos 9

Those who could not travel to the Cathedral sent letters and telegrams expressing their needs. So many, that the Kronstadt postal service opened a new section. Saint John, you hired secretaries to manage the delivery of these requests, and you diligently prayed for God’s mercy on each person:

Rejoice, outpouring of mercy to the stricken ones.

Rejoice, torrent of compassion to the tens of thousands.

Rejoice, for you had your being in the company of the saints.

Rejoice, for you looked forward to Heaven with all the faithful.

Rejoice, helper according to need and not to worthiness.

Rejoice, worker of God’s will and not of self-importance.

Rejoice, for you regarded yourself as a debtor to God.

Rejoice, for you scorned everything that could lead you into sin.

Rejoice, worshipper of God and friend of the suffering.

Rejoice, giver of everything and owner of nothing.

Rejoice, for you watched over your own heart.

Rejoice, for you prayed over your own weaknesses.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 10

Money was sent to you, and we know that money becomes a source of evil for many people, tempting even priests and other servants of God. You maintained your focus, Saint John, using the money to uplift the poor from their desolation. These brothers and sisters in Christ then said: Alleluia.

Ikos 10

So much money was sent to you, Saint John, that you were able to build a complex which included a church, school, orphanage, and workshops. In addition, you built two women’s monasteries. All the nuns and orphans, and all the homeless and jobless benefitted from your purity:

Rejoice, unifier of the people placed into your care by God.

Rejoice, distributor of the resources entrusted to you by God.

Rejoice, for God was the origin of your abundance.

Rejoice, for God Himself was your only true treasure.

Rejoice, dependent on God with no attachment to anything.

Rejoice, confident in God as the endless source of everything.

Rejoice, for God never failed you in His plan for you.

Rejoice, for God constantly upheld you in your service to Him.

Rejoice, creature of God and His ever-flowing spring of charity.

Rejoice, saint of God and His ever-cleansing river of prayer.

Rejoice, for God was your perpetual benefactor.

Rejoice, for God was your eternal consolation.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 11

Upon the request of the needy from other cities, you began travelling to their churches to preach and heal. Saint John, you were greeted by many thousands of faithful in the streets and pouring into the churches.  All were filled with hope and expectation, as they joyfully said: Alleluia.

Ikos 11

However, there were others who hated you: the atheists and subversives, the materialistic and unrepentant, and the false intellectuals of the era. Saint John, you warned and prophesized about the bleak future of the homeland unless everyone repented while there was time:

Rejoice, admonisher of the ungodly.

Rejoice, cautioner of the unremorseful.

Rejoice, for you lifted up the True Faith for a nation.

Rejoice, for you denounced the instigators of division.

Rejoice, vital member of the Body of Christ.

Rejoice, priest forever in the Church of Christ.

Rejoice, for you regarded faith itself as a miracle.

Rejoice, for in faith you were made beautifully whole.

Rejoice, sunray piercing the gray clouds of depravity.

Rejoice, wind blowing against the chaff of deviation.

Rejoice, for you fulfilled the days which God allotted you.

Rejoice, for you completed the tasks which He assigned you.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 12

Saint John, within the fullness of your life, you found time to write a diary, My Life in Christ. It contains your quest for knowledge, your counsel to the faithful, and serves as further testament of your holiness of life. Those who are true seekers of God will certainly say: Alleluia.

Ikos 12

In the year 1908, you departed this life to the Lord, and your funeral was attended by tens of thousands. It was more like a day of celebration than a day of mourning, Saint John, for your charity remained alive as many more people were healed of their afflictions on that day:

Rejoice, departed from the world but alive in Heaven.

Rejoice, returned to the dust but listening to those who pray.

Rejoice, for you are victorious over death and forgetfulness.

Rejoice, for you are beloved in every corner of the earth.

Rejoice, wisdom to all the nations that heed your role in history.

Rejoice, vindication of all priests who preach true doctrine today.

Rejoice, for your message is the same as that of Jesus Christ.

Rejoice, for your meaning is applicable to the present generation.

Rejoice, new friend to those who had never heard of you.

Rejoice, loyal father to those who are coming back to you.

Rejoice, for you open your arms to the repentant.

Rejoice, for you keep vigil over the longsuffering.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Kontakion 13

Father John of Kronstadt, you found happiness by clinging to God and not to the things of the world. You used your mind and heart to learn of God and to do good. Though you loved your homeland, you lived as a stranger in this world and always looked to Heaven. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

(Repeat Kontakion 13 three times.)

Kontakion 1 (repeated)

Dear God in Heaven, we thank You for the life and works of Your virtuous priest, Saint John of Kronstadt, who presented the pure teachings of the Church to the faithful and also to the critics and to the lost. Since we desire his holy intercession and guidance, we wholeheartedly declare:

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

Ikos 1 (repeated)

Saint John, you began your life of holiness and goodwill as a boy serving in the altar, and then went faithfully onward into your days as a priest healing the sick. In all places and among all people which you encountered, you gave glory to God for sending you forth to serve those in need:

Rejoice, benevolent priest who taught and lived the message of Christ.

Rejoice, steadfast servant who labored and sacrificed for the Church.

Rejoice, for you beheld truth and love in every word of the Bible.

Rejoice, for you found sacred meaning in every thought of the Fathers.

Rejoice, fruitful branch who joyfully reached out to the destitute.

Rejoice, Cathedral pastor who gladly watered the seedlings of faith.

Rejoice, for in your soul there was no separation from others.

Rejoice, for in your heart there was no hindrance to friendship.

Rejoice, sacred flame who exposed the wasteland of atheism.

Rejoice, Godly theologian who preached the wisdom of the apostles.

Rejoice, for you prized your countrymen as images of God.

Rejoice, for you valued all people for whom Christ gave His life.

Rejoice, Saint John, shining forth the wondrous light of salvation.

 A Prayer

Saint John of Kronstadt, you have taught and shown us the essentials of the spiritual life: the truths of the Church, the unity of worship, the love of neighbor, and above all to abide in Jesus Christ. We pray for your guidance, even as you guided children on the path of righteousness. We ask for your blessings, even as you blessed thousands during the Liturgy. We seek your healing of all our weaknesses and afflictions, even as you attended to each person who requested your aid.

Hear us who are devoted to the Church and yet in need of encouragement. Help us to repent of sins, and strengthen us to avoid the places and things of ungodliness. Lead us through the narrow gate: so that we do not attach ourselves to our financial status rather than to Christ, so that we do not value the opinions of the world more than the teachings of the Fathers, and so that we do not become inattentive in our morning and evening prayers.

Light our way forward in our troubled nation and in global matters, and also in our family problems and personal defects. We look to you as priest and father, for you served as a spiritual father to many during your lifetime as well as after your passing. Every generation produces new seekers and prodigals who need your help, and therefore we of this era ask for your great benevolence.

Father John, we thank you for your consideration of our needs, and in hope and expectation of your merciful aid we go forward today in joy. Amen.

[There are at least three versions of the life of Saint John of Kronstadt, each version offering a little information not available in the others. This Akathist does not contain all the available details of Saint John’s life, but is focused on the main themes of his life.]

Copyright © 2017 by Natalia J. Garland

Batch 828, Version 1

This material may be reprinted and redistributed for personal and non-profit uses only.

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