SAINT JOHN THE RUSSIAN 9293. St John was born around 1690 in the southern Russia to pious Orthodox parents. Upon reaching maturity he was called to service in the army where he was taken prisoner during the Russo-Turkish war near Caesarea in Asia Minor. John was threatened, tortured, subjected to all means to convert him to the Muslim faith but bravely endured humiliations and beatings. Noting John’s firm faith, his master’s heart softened and John was assigned to take care of his master’s stable, which also became his living quarters. John rejoiced in his small dark corner of the stable as a little paradise where he could freely pray and offer praises to the true God. Occasionally, John would leave his bed to keep vigil at the nearby Church of the St. George, and on Saturdays and Feast days receive Holy Communion. As the cavalry commander prospered, he understood his blessings and prosperity came hrough his servant John, and noted this to his fellow citizens. Foreseeing his end, John called for a priest from the church he had attended and asked to partake of the immaculate mysteries. The priest was afraid to openly bring the Eucharist into the stable. Being divinely inspired, he dug the core out of an apple and lined the cavity with beeswax and placed the communion inside. He then visited the saint at the stables and gave him Communion. After receiving communion, John fell asleep in the Lord on May 27, 1730. He was about forty years old.