9 hierarchs and 220 clergymen presided over a festive service on the commemoration day of St. John the Recluse and the wonderworker of Svyatogorsk, the first of the Svyatogorsk ascetics, glorified by the Church 26 years ago, reports Svlavra.church.ua.
The service took place on August 24, 2021 at the Dormition Cathedral of the lavra. The Divine Liturgy was led by the abbot of the lavra, Metropolitan Arseny of Svyatogorsk.
Bishop Irinarkh of Novopskov delivered a sermon saying that the saints of the Church of Christ, among whom is the Venerable John the Recluse of Svyatogorsk, showed that salvation is possible for everyone by their life in God.
“For a modern person it is difficult to imagine going in seclusion and living in a cave in unceasing prayer to God. The life of St. John the Recluse is, first of all, an example of struggle with oneself and struggle against the enemy of the human race with the help of prayer, for the sake of the life with God in eternity,” said Bishop Irinarkh.
After the liturgy, a cross procession with the relics and the holy image of the Venerable John the Recluse took place to the Monument of the Mother of God. A prayer service was performed there, and Metropolitan Arseny of Svyatogorsk addressed those present stressing that on the day of the memory of St. John, a multitude of people come to the Lavra – not by summons or compulsion, but by the call of their hearts.
“This is a testimony of the real Church of Christ, where the Lord and the grace of God are present, in which faith rests on such ascetics as St. John the Recluse, on those martyrs and confessors who suffered for the Orthodox faith, without renouncing it, on the prayers of our ancestors, grandmothers and mothers, on confessions and communion of the Holy Mysteries in the temples of Christ’s Church,” said Metropolitan Arseny.
In conclusion, Metropolitan Arseny wished everyone peace and consolation through the prayers of the Venerable John the Recluse.