Commemorated on August 5
Saint John the Chozebite, the son of Maxim and Catherine Jacob, was
born July 23, 1913 in the Horodistea district of Moldavia. He was named
for the holy prophet Elias (July 20). In 1914, his father died in the
war, and his mother succumbed to a disease, leaving Elias as an orphan.
His grandmother Maria raised him until he was eleven. She was a nun, so
she was able to educate him in spiritual matters. She died in 1924, so
young Elias went to live with other relatives. He had a great love for
Christ and His Church, and longed for the monastic life.
entered Neamts Monastery on August 15, 1933 when he was twenty years
old. Here his soul was nourished by the beauty of the services, the
experienced spiritual instructors, and the silence of the mountains. The
young monk loved prayer, vigils, spiritual reading, and solitude, and
soon he surpassed many experienced monks in obedience, humility, and
patience. Seeing his great love for spiritual books, the igumen made him
the monastery’s librarian. Elias gave comfort to many of the brethren
by recommending specific books for each one to read. Then he would
advise them to read the book carefully, make their confession, and not
miss the services if they wanted to find peace.
efforts attracted the notice of Archimandrite Valerie Moglan, who
recommended that Elias be permitted to receive monastic tonsure. He was
tonsured on April 8, 1936 and received the name John. From that time,
the young monk intensified his spiritual efforts, conquering the
temptations of the demons, and progressing on the path of salvation.
John made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with two other monks in 1936,
and they decided to remain there. The monk Damascene fell ill, however, and had to be taken back to Romania by the monk Claudius after eight months.
first, St John lived in Bethlehem near St Sava’s Monastery. Romanian
monks had lived at St Sava’s since the sixteenth century, and John
struggled there for almost ten years. He was made librarian of the
monastery, and he fulfilled this obedience for about seven years.
1945 St John longed for the peace and solitude of the desert, and so he
went to live as a hermit. He was ordained as a priest in 1947, and
became igumen of the Romanian Skete of St John the Baptist by the
Jordan. Pilgrims often came to him for Confession, Communion, and
consolation. In his free time he composed religious poems and hymns.
five years, he and his disciple went into the desert of Chozeba near
Jehrico. Here they lived in asceticism for eight years in the cave
where, according to Tradition, St Anna had prayed.
St John Jacob
died on August 5, 1960 at the age of forty-seven and was buried in his
cave. On August 8, 1980 his relics were found incorrupt and fragrant.
They now rest in the St George the Chozebite Monastery.
and 1970, St John’s book SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT was published in two
volumes, with the blessing of Patriarch Benedict of Jerusalem.
St John Jacob was glorified by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1992.
SAINT OR FEAST POSTED THIS DATE 2015(with 2014's link here also and further: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and even 2007!):
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