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He was known to spend nights on end standing motionless, with lifted arms, deep in prayer. The young Maximovitch was known to have a veneration for this holy hierarch.
Today Archbishop John may be seen to resemble the holy man of Kharkov in at least three respects: he was known not to have slept in a bed for forty years; he knew beforehand of his death; and before his glorification in 1994 his relics rested under a cathedral in a special grave-chapel where panikhidas were sung almost daily and the Psalter read over his coffin by those asking for his help.
In 1926 Metropolitan Anthony tonsured him a monk and ordained him hierodeacon in the Milkov Monastery, giving him the name John, after the future archbishop's own distant relative, Saint John (Maximovitch) of Tobolsk. More than once he was heard to say, "If you wish to see a living saint, go to Bitol to Father John." For, indeed, it began to become evident that this was an entirely extraordinary man.
His own students were first to discover what was perhaps Fr. They noticed at first that he stayed up long after everyone else had gone to bed; he would go through the dormitories at night and pick up blankets that had fallen down and cover the unsuspecting sleepers, making the Sign of the Cross over them.
He told her that he was in town by mistake, having been sent for in place of some other Hieromonk John who was to be consecrated bishop!Being filled with love for God and man, they are responsive to man's needs, interceding before God and helping those who turn to them." Thus describing the ancient Saints, Vladyka John simultaneously summarized his own spiritual attitude which made him one of the greatest Saints of our time.Childhood Michael Maximovitch, the future Archbishop John, was born on June 4, 1896, in the village of Adamovka in the province of Kharkov in southern Russia.While he was a student he worked for his living by selling newspapers. At that time the ruling bishop of this diocese was Nicholas Velimirovich—a noted preacher, poet, writer, and inspirer of the popular religious movement.In 1924, Michael was ordained reader in the Russian church in Belgrade by Metropolitan Anthony, who continued to exert great influence over him; and Michael in his turn showed the utmost respect and devotion to his superior. He, as much as Metropolitan Anthony, valued and loved the young Hieromonk John, and himself exerted a beneficial influence upon him.