by Fr. Joseph Farooq, Pravoslavie — November 4, 2015
With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan and the parishioners of Saint Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan on November 01, 2015, celebrated the feast of our righteous father John of Kronstadt.
Righteous father John had the greatest gift of prayer, and so the solemn celebrations were begun with prayers to Saint John of Kronstadt. The prayers were taken from the spiritual diary of Saint John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ. The following prayers were translated by Fr. Joseph Farooq and recited along with the faithful:
- A Preparation for Confession
- Prayer for the granting of prayer consolation
Other prayers were also said for the health and many good years of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
After this prayerful session the Divine Liturgy was celebrated for the Orthodox faithful in Pakistan. We commemorated the dead who have lost their precious lives in the Egypt plane crash on October 31. The sudden crash of the Russian airline in Egypt on Saturday with 224 people on board killed, including children, May God receive their souls into His heavenly kingdom, forgiving them all their sins for His love for mankind. May the Divine Mercy of our Lord and God comfort the grieved families. May their Memory be eternal!
After the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Joseph Farooq preached to the faithful about the life and miracles of St. John of Kronstadt. The following key points were preached in the sermon: The Life of Saint John of Kronstadt and his services in the St. Andrew Cathedral in the city of Kronstadt, which is near St. Petersburg.
Miracles of John of Kronstadt:
Fr. Joseph Farooq told the faithful that there were many miracles performed by St. John of Kronstadt, especially the healing of the sick, and these miracles were witnessed by thousands of individuals around the world. The gift of miracle-working made St. John renowned far beyond the boundaries of Russia. Thousands of people from all ends of Russia daily arrived in Kronstadt, seeking help from St. John; he received an even greater number of letters and telegrams. Further Fr. Joseph Farooq told the Orthodox faithful in Pakistan that, “Our great wonderworker, righteous father John of Kronstadt filled the whole world with his miracles, like Saint Nicholas.
Fr. Joseph Farooq also preached about the spiritual Diary of Saint John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ, where he wrote of his wonderful spiritual experiences and his genuine and true love for Christ. In this spiritual document, St. John of Kronstadt taught all Christians that they must fight with the evil forces of the world in order to reach the heavenly homeland. He also taught the Christians of the present day about Christian values and practical aspects to attain the perfection and purity of the human soul by reading the Sacred Scriptures. As St. John writes in his spiritual Dairy:
From the first days of my high service to the Church, I began reading the Sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, drawing from them all that is edifying for myself as a human being in general, and as a priest in particular.
St. John was very true to the Faith and the Orthodox Church, and teaches us to remain faithful to Orthodox Church, the only source of salvation. He also teaches us the perfect example of prayer, fasting, piety, almsgiving, spiritual labor, and abstinence.
Love for the poor, the sick, and the orphaned: Our righteous father John of Kronstadt was loved by rich and poor, by nobleman and beggar. Throughout his earthly life he helped the poor and orphaned, and we learn that St. John went daily among the poor and the destitute of Kronstadt, spoke with them, comforted them, looked after the sick, and helped them financially according to his resources. Quite often the young priest St. John came home without his overcoat or boots, having given them away to the poor.
Spiritual Lesson for Orthodox Christians in Pakistan:
Dear brothers and sisters, today our righteous father John of Kronstadt, as a spiritual counselor, comforter, reviver, and spiritual teacher, teaches the whole world:
- The power of daily prayer.
- That we need the Lord and we need His grace.
- Trueness to the faith and the Orthodox Church.
- To preach truth, denouncing lies.
- To care for the sick, poor and needy around us.
Help from our righteous father John of Kronstadt:
After the sermon, people were given time to light the candles that they brought along with them in front of the icon of the righteous Father John of Kronstadt. They were instructed to ask for the help from St. John of Kronstadt. The beauty of this session was that while lighting the candles the translated prayers of Saint John of Kronstadt were recited very softly by keeping the spiritual environment of the Orthodox faith and holy traditions. Each family was given an icon of St. John of Kronstadt as a blessing.
Humble Request for the help in the mission:
With blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, I humbly request you to support the mission’s work in Pakistan. We need to buy a piece of land to build the first ever Russian Orthodox Christian Church and school here in Pakistan. Please come forward and take part in this exciting and challenging mission work.
For queries about the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia in Pakistan, kindly contact: firstname.lastname@example.org