Canon of the Righteous St John of Kronstadt

THE WONDERWORKER

ODE 1

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.
Let us marvel that so many different powers are created by God; for all powers are derived from the one single Power, and the Almighty himself works through every power, everything appertaining to God the Creator, as to the God of wonders, is wonderful; likewise in faith, everything is wonderful, though invisible, but true and real: the pure of heart shall see God.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

Everything that makes me human - the soul - lives solely by God, and only in union with him; while when the soul separates itself from God, it experiences extreme distress. But the life of my soul consists of the peace of my spiritual powers, and this peace proceeds exclusively from God.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

You can see how bright the sun and the stars are. “Then the righteous shall shine like the sun,” (Matthew 13: 43) from the inner immaterial light of God. Aspire to that enlightenment. Throw aside the works of darkness. We can raise our nature to communion with the divine nature; and God is the uncreated Light, surpassing every light that has been created.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

When asking various blessings from God, believe that God is all to all. If you ask health from him, believe that he is your health. If you ask faith, that he is your faith. If you ask love, that he is your love. If you ask peace and joy, that he is your peace and joy. If you ask for help against visible and invisible enemies, that he is your all-powerful help.


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

God is he who is. In him all holy, rational, and free creatures are one. “That all of them may be on, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” (John 17: 21) I am nothing. God is everything in me and God is in everyone, and for everyone God is everything.

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Through the incarnation of the Word the all-holy Virgin has been given to us as an all powerful intercessor, who protects us from sins, misfortunes and disasters, praying for us day and night, our queen whose power no enemy - visible or invisible - can withstand, truly our mother by grace.

ODE 3

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” (John 6: 56). As an infant carried in its mother’s womb lives wholly by her so also the Christian communicating of the Body and Blood of Christ dwells in Christ, like an infant in its mother’s womb, and lives wholly by Christ: “Just as I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me” (John 6: 57).

Holy Father John pray to God for us.

He who believes in the Saviour and feeds on his Body and Blood has eternal life in himself. And this is the reason why every sin occasions painful suffering and disturbance of heart. But those who do not have eternal life in them drink iniquity like water, and do not suffer because eternal life is not in their heart.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

Instead of the tree of life, there is the bread of life. Instead of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, there is the same life-giving bread of life. Then it was said “You must not touch it, or you will die” (Genesis 3: 3). Now it is said “He who feeds on this bread will live for ever” (John 6: 51, 58).

 Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

He is my meat and drink, before any other meat and drink. He is the firmest ground, that nothing can ever shake and that bears me. He has opened to us, in his Holy Mysteries, in his Blood, the source of living water flowing to eternal life, and gives himself to us as food and drink, in order that we might live through him’ (1 John 4: 9).


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

God sovereignly changes by the Holy Spirit ordinary bread and wine into the life-giving Body and Blood of his Son. Our bodily life is less important than our spiritual life, because the ordinary bread and wine nourishing and strengthening our bodily nature, are changed into a better bread, the bread of spiritual life, and the wine into spiritual drink.

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Imagine how resplendently adorned, what a pure and perfect palace of the Almighty must have been the most holy soul and the most pure body of the Mother of God, in whose womb God the Word - Godhead, soul and body - came to dwell.

ODE 4

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.
The Word of God is the same as God himself. Therefore, believe without doubting every word of the Lord. The Word of God is action, and your own word should be action. Therefore also, during prayer our words ought to be action and truth, and not falsehood, hypocrisy and flattery. Apply this to your whole life.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

I have a Teacher who gives me life. Every word of his is the word of life and is therefore truth. I believe in him in everything, and all that is contrary to his word - either in my thought and heart or in what I hear from other people - I do not believe, and look upon as falsehood and death to my soul.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

Have the same attention and respect for the Word as you have for the living man, and believe firmly that “the Word of God is quick and powerful” as a living being, as an angel, and that because of its spiritual fineness it “penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4: 12).

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

The Word of God is God himself. And therefore when you speak, believe that you have to do with living and not with dead beings, with active and not with inert and powerless ones. Know that you should pronounce every word with faith and assurance. The words are living pearls, “do not throw your pearls to pigs” (Matthew 7: 6).

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Holy Scripture is the domain of Wisdom, Word and Spirit, of God in the Trinity. In it he clearly manifests himself. “The words I have spoken to you are spirit, and they are life, “ said the Lord. In Holy Scripture we see God Face to face, and ourselves as we are.

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
 
How holy must be the Mother of God, with whom God the Word himself, the Light everlasting, was most truly united - the true light that gives life to every man who comes into the world - on whom the Holy Spirit has come, and whom the power of the Most High has overshadowed.

ODE 5

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

The Name of God is God himself. Therefore it is said; “You shall not misuse the Name of the Lord your God” (Exodus 20: 7) or “May the Name of the God of Jacob protect you” (Psalm 20: 1) or again “Set me free from my prison that I may praise your Name” (Psalm 142: 7), “Call upon my Name in the day of trouble, I will deliver you and you will honour me” (Psalm 50: 15).


Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

Lord! Your Name is Love. do not cast me away, erring as I am! Your Name is Power. Strengthen me, who so often grow weak and fall! Your Name is Light. Enlighten my soul, darkened by earthly passions.! Your Name is peace. Appease my troubled soul! Your Name is mercy. Do not cease to forgive me.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

When you bind the devil in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, then his Name, the sweetest to us, and the most terrible and grievous to the demons, itself creates power, like a two-edged sword.


Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

The Cross and Name of Christ do not perform any miracles until I see Jesus Christ with the eyes of my heart, or by faith, and until I believe with my whole heart all that he has accomplished for our salvation.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

The Lord is everything to me. He is the strength of my heart and the light of my intellect. He inclines my heart to everything good. He is my rest and my joy. He is my faith, hope and love. He is my food and drink, my clothing, my dwelling place.


Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

How exalted, how wondrous, is the unity in love and holiness of the immaculate Virgin Mary with her divine Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

ODE 6

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

When you hear that God speaks, then represent to yourself his Word as deed, either already accomplished, or being accomplished, or about to be accomplished.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

When you pray, be firmly convinced that for the Lord everything is easy, that he can do everything in a moment. Do not ascribe to God your own inability to do anything, or to help yourself or your neighbour in any way. Ask him boldly for everything. Hope to receive everything from him. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21: 22)

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

Strengthen yourself by calling upon the Holy Spirit the Comforter with no doubt in your heart. He is well known to you. You so often invoke him upon the Holy Gifts, and he, at your prayer, unfailingly transubstantiated them, and you yourself partake again and again of the fruits of the divine acts.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

Men have fallen into unbelief because they have lost the spirit of prayer. They have not asked and do not ask God’s grace in prayer (for God’s gifts are only given to those who ask and seek), and thus their hearts, corrupt by nature, become dried and without the vivifying dew of the Holy Spirit.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

How speedily God hears the prayer of two or three praying together with the whole heart! “Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20), says the Lord himself.

Both now and every and unto ages of ages. Amen.

How holy must be the Mother of God, who became the temple of God not made with hands, and was entirely penetrated, in all her thoughts, feelings, words and deeds, by the Holy Spirit.

ODE 7

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

Why does not the sinful soul obtain remission of its sins before it feels all their foolishness, all their destructiveness and all their falsity from the whole heart? Because the heart is our soul. As it committed the sins, it must recognise them as leading to destruction and entirely wrong. This repentance is accomplished painfully in the heart, as the desire to sin is also usually in the heart.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

A terrible truth. Impenitent sinners after their death lose every possibility of changing for good and therefore remain unalterably given up to everlasting torments. For sin cannot but torment. Who does not know how difficult it is, without God’s special grace, for a sinner to turn from the way of sin that is so dear to him to the path of virtue?

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

The future life is the perfect purity of the heart, which is now only gradually purified, and is at present often darkened by sin and by the devil’s breathing into it. Only at times, under the influence of God’s grace, it brightens and sees God, being united to him most truly during prayer and in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

As we sometimes blaspheme the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit the Comforter by the impure, dark, and evil state of our soul, so some men are able of comforting all by their words, thus glorifying the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

Glory to the Father and to the son and to the Holy Spirit.

In many persons there is no faith, no trust in God, and no love for God and their neighbour, but unbelief, despair and hatred. The greater number of Christians are penetrated by the spirit of the world, by the spirit of newspapers and worldly writers, who in their turn are penetrated by a heathen spirit, the spirit of denial of the inspiration of Holy Scripture.


Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

He who has adorned the earth with many coloured and fragrant flowers, could he not adorn his earthly mother with all the flowers of virtue, making her fragrant with all spiritual perfumes? She is the temple of the Godhead, adorned with every beauty.

ODE 8

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.
“I am the Vine,” says the Lord, “you are the branches,” that is, the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church. Therefore, as the Lord is holy, so also the Church is holy. As the Lord is “the way, the truth and the life,” (John 14: 6) , so also is the Church, because the Church is one and the same with the Lord, “his body, of his flesh and of his bones” (Ephesians 5: 30).

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

Steadfastly believe that according to the Saviour’s promise the HolySspirit shall eternally dwell in the Church and guide her into all truth. This signifies that everything in her is truthful and salutary. The Church is called “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3: 15). In the words of the Holy Fathers and Teachers of the Church, the Spirit of Christ breathes everywhere, the Spirit of truth, love and salvation.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

What a close connection there is between the Church in heaven and the Church on earth! The Church on earth unceasingly glorifies the Church in heaven for the great deeds accomplished on earth for God’s sake. She unceasingly prays for the Church on earth and intercedes for the departed in the hope of the Resurrection. Let us enter into the spirit of this love of our Mother, the Orthodox Church!

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

God has bound the Orthodox faithful to himself by means of the one Holy Spirit and the one Church, by one Faith, by the unity of the law, of the Mysteries, and the hierarchy, for the general good of his rational creation. One must hold onto this bond through holiness of life and submission to one another.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As the Holy Trinity, our God, is One Being, although Three Persons, so likewise we ourselves must be one. As our God is indivisible, we also must be indivisible, as though we were one man, one mind, one will, one heart, one goodness, in a word, one pure love, as God is love. “That they may be one, even as we are one.”

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

When you look upon the image of the Mother of God with her eternal Child, marvel how most truly the Godhead was united with human nature, glorify God’s omnipotent goodness, and recognising your own dignity as man live worthily of your high calling in Christ. The calling of a child of God, an inheritor of eternal bliss.

ODE 9

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

To what height has our nature been raised in the person of the Mother of God? Higher than the Cherubim and Seraphim. For whom was this done? For you. In order that you, being freed from the corruption of the lusts of the flesh, might become a partaker of divine nature (2 Peter 1: 4).

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

Orthodox Christians are like a family, and in a good family the mother is always held in high respect, likewise, the older brothers enjoy the respect and esteem of the younger ones. You should remember that the Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, the holy angels and the saints are pure images of God, friends of God, as Abraham is called the friend of God.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

If men were not created in the image of God, God could not have been incarnated in the Holy Virgin. Lofty is our nature both in creation and in redemption. Rejoice, Holy Virgin, for you obtained such purity and grace from God that you were able by God’s grace and the cooperation of the Holy Spirit to give his flesh to the Son of God.

Holy Father John, pray to God for us.

It was for our sake that the Lord was incarnate, suffered, was crucified, died, and rose from the dead. It was for our sake also that he adorned his Mother, the most pure Virgin Mary, with all virtues. Therefore, let not God’s grace with which our Lady is filled, be fruitless for us. Let us all come with boldness and trust to the Virgin’s wonderful, ever helpful and most pure protection.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

If when living upon earth the saints pray for others, then much more will they do so when they are transplanted to eternity and are face to face with God. By virtue of the great mediatory sacrifice of the Son of God, the prayers of the saints, especially those of his most pure Mother, possess by the grace of the Lord the power of mediation.

Both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

We pray to the all-merciful and most pure Mother of God and she prays for us. We glorify her, she who is above all glory, and she prepares eternal glory for us. We often say to her: “Rejoice,” and she asks her Son and God: “My beloved Son, give them everlasting joy in return for greeting me with joy.”


PRAYERS OF ST JOHN OF KRONSTADT

Lord, almighty power, my soul is irresolute: strengthen it in every virtue.
Make firm my heart, weak in all good actions, on the rock of your commandments.
Lord, ever day I realize by experience that without you I am nothing; without you I cannot do any good; without you there is in me nothing but evil in its various forms; without you I am doomed to be lost. Lord, words cannot express your goodness: fill my heart with your goodness.
But above all, please, I ask you, grant that I may love you with all my heart and my neighbour as myself. Lord, save me from ill-will towards others; save me from being proud and too sure of myself; from being disobedient. Grant that I may be gentle, humble, caring, respectful and obedient. Amen.

Lord, do not let us leave unused your spiritual and material gifts; do not let them have no effect on us. Grant that they may be used for good results and the salvation of people. Make it to happen in all of us. May the number of your talents be increased by the personal activity of each one of us.


Lord, do not allow for one moment that I should do the will of your and my enemy the devil; but grant that I may continually do your will, and do only the will of my God and my King, by whom all kings reign.

Grant that I may always obey you, revere you truly and firmly.

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.” (Psalm 95:6 Psalm 2:11)

Lord, grant that I may see my transgressions. Grant that I may not despise sinners; they are like me.
Grant that I may not nourish any ill-feeling in my heart against them because of their sins.
Grant that I may despise myself as I deserve, because I am the greatest of sinners.
Grant that I may always feel implacable hatred towards myself, my own fallen nature: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own life - he cannot be my disciple,” (Luke 14:26) says the Lord.
O infinitely great Benefactor, my Saviour!
When I represent to myself the infinite corruption of my nature by many different sins and passions, my spirit is despondent and downcast.
But as soon as I remember you; that you came to renew my nature corrupted by sin; to confer on me, who had been dishonoured and shamed, the nobility of the angels. even higher that that, the nobility of the Son of God himself, through faith in you; through new birth by water and the Spirit; through communion to the Holy Mysteries.
Instantaneously, then my spirit rises from its despondency; it shakes off the infamy of the passions; it is completely filled with gratitude towards you.
Glory to you, O infinite mercy and power, Son of God.

Take me captive, Lord, in the sweet captivity of your Holy Spirit, that my words may flow “like streams in the Negev” (Psalm 126:4), to your glory and to the salvation of your people.
Let my tongue be the p[en of a skillful writer (Psalm 45:1) the Holy Spirit.

Lord, grant me a heart that is simple, kind, open, believing, loving and generous. Make it worthy of being your dwelling, Most Gracious One!

MORNING PRAYER

O God, creator and master of the world, in your mercy protect your creature, adorned with your divine image, in these hours of the morning.

Let your eyes, millions of times brighter than the rays of the sun, put life and light into my soul, darkened and slain by sin.

Deliver me from depression and laziness.
Grant me joy and vigour of soul, that with a glad heart I may praise your mercy, your holiness, your unlimited greatness and your infinite perfections, at every hour and in every place.

For you, Lord, are my Creator and the master of my life and your rational creatures at every hour ascribe glory and praise to you, now and ever and unto ages of ages Amen


Almighty sovereign, to whose single sign all things, the whole visible and invisible world are obedient, grant that I may unceasingly glorify you by the simplicity of my faith in your infinite power. Give me faith that will not be ashamed, firm hope and unfeigned love for you and for my neighbour.

Lord, let my heart cling to you alone, and not to anything earthly; for in earthly attachments there is sorrow, oppression and torment. Let nothing earthly be dear to my heart, but grant that I may hold you, the one Lord, of greater worth than all; and that I may esteem also everything heavenly and the soul created in your image: immortal, rational, able to speak, free, the breath of your mouth. Let nothing earthly, money, food, dress, rank, signs of distinction, become the idol of my heart.

Grant, Lord, that I may always love each of my neighbours as myself. That I may not be angry with them for any reason, because in that way I would serve the devil. Grant that I may crucify my self-love, pride, greed, unbelief and other passions.

Let mutual love be our name. Grant that we may believe and trust that the Lord is everything to us all. That we may not be worried nor anxious about anything. That you, our God, may truly be the only God of our heart, and nothing besides you. Let there by union of love between us as there ought to be, and let everything that divides us from each other, and prevents us from loving one another, be despised by us, like the dust trampled under foot.
So be it! So be it!

May the living water of the Holy Spirit fill my heart and may rivers of living water flow from my heart to the glory of God,, and for the salvation of God’s people.

Lord, I acknowledge that neither in the country nor in the forest are to be found life and health and vigour of spirit and body, but with you in the temple and above all during the Liturgy and in your holy and life-giving Mysteries. They are our greatest blessedness, the Lord God’s constant and wonderful Providence for saving and sanctifying us, the prefiguration of eternal life.

Great is your love, O lord. You have spent yourself to the end out of love for me. I gaze on the Cross and marvel at your love for me and for the world, for the Cross is the evidence of your love for us. “There is no greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Your life-giving Mysteries, Lord, serve as a perpetual, glorious proof of your love for us sinners; for your divine body was broken for me, for us all, and your blood was poured out for me, for us all. Lord, I glorify the wonders accomplished by your Holy Mysteries on your believers, and the innumerable healings. Lord, in return for your great love, grant that I may love you with all my heart and my neighbour as myself. Grant that I may also love my enemies and not only those who love me.

Lord, I thank you with my whole heart for having saved me innumerable times from the shamefulness, violence and cruelty of the passions; for having extinguished in me the burning arrows of the evil one. For having guarded my soul with peace, refreshing it with the dew of your grace. Glory to you, most merciful and almighty Lord; by your grace I still remain whole and unharmed, in spite of the innumerable schemes of the invisible and most evil enemies making every effort to devour me.

I believe and I know, Lord, that you will deliver and save me from all their snares and calumnies in your wisdom you will grant your heavenly kingdom to me, and not only to me, but to all those who serve you and are subjected to the calumnies of evil spirits.

For you are merciful, you save those who desire to be saved, and even those who do not desire to be saved.

O Loving Savour, having come down from heaven for the service of mankind, you did not only preach the word of heavenly truth in the temple, but you went through the towns and villages. You did not avoid anyone. You visited the houses of all, especially of those whose fervent repentance you divinely foresaw. You did not remain sitting at home, but you had loving conversation with all.  Grant us too to have such loving conversation with your people, so that we pastors would not shut ourselves up in our houses away from your flock as if in castles or prisons, coming out only for services in church, only out of duty, only with prayers learned by heart. May our lips be freely opened to talk with our parishioners in a spirit of faith and love. May our Christian love for our spiritual children be opened and strengthened by animated, free, and fatherly conversation with them. “Do no forget to do good and to share with others.” (Hebrews 13:16)

O sweetest name, holiest name, almighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ! My victory, Lord, glory to you! Lord, we are your members, we are one body, you are our head. Lord, grant that all passions, all demons will flee from us.  Lord, confer on us the grace of never failing love. Lord, grant that we may show respect and love to each other, as to yourself, for we are made godly by you.

Glory to the never failing power of your Cross, O Lord! When the enemy oppresses me by sinful thoughts and feelings, and I , having no freedom in my heart, make the sign of the cross several times with faith, then my sin suddenly passes away from me, the difficulty vanishes, and I obtain freedom. Glory to you, Lord, How good it is to be with you!

Lord, your name is Love - do not cast me away, erring as I am.
Your name is Power - strengthen me, who so often grow weak and fail. 
Your name is Light - enlighten my soul, darkened by earthly passions. 
Your name is Peace - appease my troubled soul.
Your name is Mercy - do not cease to forgive me.

O Holy trinity, our God, incomplex Being, who has created our soul in your image, grant that we may have life and peace in you.

O Holy Trinity, our Nourisher and Hope, grant that we may ever put our trust in you alone.
You carry us all like a mother in your arms, and you feed us all with your hand, like the most tender mother. You never forget us, and you will never forget us, for you have said yourself: “Can an mother forget the baby at her breast? Though she may forget, I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15) that is - I will not cease to feed, preserve, protect, deliver and save you. You have also said yourself: “Never shall I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5 quoting Deuteronomy 31:6). Why, then, are we anxious about our food? Why are we so greedy? Why do we overeat and delight ourselves in delicacies? Why do we grudge to share with our neighbours? O impiety! O blindness! O filthy self-love! O want of love for God and our neighbour! For God dwells in the person of our neighbour and therefore we begrudge his own gifts to God himself. Remember how generously the Spirit-bearing prophet Elisha rewarded the Shunamite woman who received him in her house and entertained him in the simplicity of her heart. He implored God to give her a son, and afterwards, when this son died, he raised him from the dead.