CHAPEL OF ST. JOHN OF RUSSIA IN THE CYPRIOT VILLAGE OF VOUNI

To the south of the Cypriot village of Vouni, not far from the main road towards Limassol, is a small stone chapel.

This chapel has a sloping tiled roof, wooden doors and one belfry, as well as a small cobbled patio surrounding the temple. This chapel is dedicated to the chosen confessor of Christ, the holy righteous John of Russia:

Pilgrims often come here, since St. Righteous John of Russia is considered a miracle worker:

St. John was born in Little Russia in 1690. When he reached adulthood, he was drafted into the army of Peter I. During the Russo-Turkish war, namely the Prut campaign in 1711, he was captured and sold as a slave to the head of the Turkish cavalry, who brought the Saint to his home  in Cappadocia.

Being a prisoner of war and a slave, he became famous and respected even among people professing a different religion, for his humility, sincere steadfastness in his faith and goodwill.

Chapel of St. John of Russia, village of Vouni, Cyprus.

Initially, the Turks scoffed and humiliated St. John and tried to convince him to change his faith. But soon all the bullying over him ceased. The saint resisted the efforts of the Turks, and they, seeing with what love and zeal the ascetic and confessor of the faith of Christ did his work, his industriousness and firmness in his faith in God, allowed the Saint to preserve his faith.

The living conditions of the saint were very harsh. He slept in his master’s stable with the animals he looked after. He ate little, was forced to walk without shoes. In this stable, the Saint prayed during the day, and in the evenings he often visited the cave church dedicated to St. George.
A pious man never took offense, tried to help the Turks in their needs and comfort them when it was necessary. With his kindness, the Holy placed the Turks to sincere trust.

Soon his master became rich. He believed that this happened because the righteous man lives in his house and decided to make the hajj – pilgrimage associated with visiting Mecca.
After the owner left the house, St. John asked to give him pilaf and said that he would send a bowl of home pilaf to his master in Mecca. The hostess handed him the pilaf, deciding that he himself wants to eat it. At first, the Turks laughed, but when his master returned home, he brought a dish with him and talked about the miracle that happened to him – in Mecca his favorite dish was waiting for him in the dishes from his house!

Soon the whole village spoke of this miracle.

St. John of Russia became famous for numerous blessed miracles. He lived the rest of his life in a stable and died on May 27, 1730, at the age of 40.

After his death, both Christians and Muslims, who did not doubt his holiness, placed his remains under the Holy Tomb of the Church of St. George, which he visited when he was alive.
The miracles of St. John of Russia continued even after his death. Representatives of various faiths came to the incorrupt relics of St. John the Russian for pilgrimage purposes. He was offered prayers for reconciliation of interethnic and religious troubles and asked to help to resentfully resent.

100 years later, Turkish soldiers sacked this church. They wanted to burn the body of St. John of Russia, but found that the flame did not touch the body of the righteous. The news of this miracle soon began to spread throughout Asia Minor and beyond.

Chapel of St. John of Russia, village of Vouni, Cyprus.

Today, this small chapel, located far from the center of the village of Vouni in Cyprus, overlooking the mountain slopes, is surrounded only by hilly fields and calm sounds of nature – the rustle of foliage and birdsong:

Chapel of St. John of Russia, village of Vouni, Cyprus.

Being here, a person feels an atmosphere of spiritual awe and inner calm:

It is believed that this Saint especially helps sick children and those with cancer.

Every year on May 27, a liturgy is held in this church dedicated to the holy righteous John of Russia.