On Sunday, the 18th/31st of January 2016, St John the Hosebite was placed in the Canon of Saints  during a panegyric Divine Liturgy at the Monastery of Sts John and George the Hozevites.

Hosios John, the new Hozevite, born in Romania, came to the Holy Land in the mid-20th c. and received the monastic schema at the Monastery of St Savva the Sanctified, and the grace of priesthood at the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. He had lived the greatest part of his life at the Monastery of Choseba, and excelled in virtue and holiness, hence why the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, by means of a Synodical Act, decided to place him in the Canon of Saints of the Church of Jerusalem and of the Church as a whole.

At the Monastery, His Beatitude was warmly welcomed by a crowd of faithful, before being addressed in Greek by the hegoumen, Archimandrite Constantine.

“The late John Jacob”, said Archimandrite Constantine, “from the saint-bearing land of Romania, had gone through the three stadia of monastic and ascetic life: namely catharsis, enlightening and theosis”.

“The Patriarchate of Jerusalem”, added the Archimandrite, “after collecting testaments and recording miracles beyond any doubt […] has decided to place the late Hieromonk John Jacob into the chorus of Saints”.

In His reply address, His Beatitude Theophilos referred to the words of the Apostle Paul –  “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles (or Romanians) slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1, Corinthians 12-13). From this one Holy Spirit, and of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ drank all the Saints of the Church, or rather, all those who became friends of Christ and communicants of the inaccessible light of His face”.

In Arabic, the Patriarch’s speech was read by His Eminence Theodosius, Archbishop of Sebasteia, see link: https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/ar/2016/01/31/18595

The divine Liturgy, held for the entry in force of the Synodical decision, was led by Patriarch Theophilos. Co-officiating were Metropolitans Kyriakos of Nazareth and Isychios of Kapitolias, and the Exarch of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in Cyprus, Metropolitan Timotheos of Bostra; Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria and Hungary, Archbishop Timotheos, former representative of the Patriarchate of Romania in Jerusalem; Archbishops Aristarchos of Constantina, Theodosios of Sebaste, Demetrios of Lydda, Philoumenos of Pella; Metropolitan Joachim of former Zambia, Hagiotaphite Hieromonks, Archimandrite Hilarion, hegoumen at the Monastery of Mount Tabor; Archimandrite Ioustinos, hegoumen at the Monastery of Jacob’s Well, Archimandrite Chrysostomos, hegoumen at the Monastery of Abba Gerasimus, Archimandrite Christophoros, hegoumen at the Monastery of the Life-giving Spring; other Hagiotaphite Fathers and many priests of the Patriarchate of Romania, led by the Very Reverend Bishop Timotheos, former representative of the Patriarchate of Romania in Jerusalem. Father George Chardavellas, visiting from the Metropolis of Ileia of the Church of Greece, sang in the presence of the Greek Consul-General to Jerusalem, Mr G. Zacharoudiakis, and Mr V. Koinis. A great congregation of monks, nuns and faithful, hailing mostly from Romania, participated in the service.

After the Prayer behind the Ambon, Patriarch Theophilos read the text of the Canonization, see link: https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/gr/2016/01/31/32062

At the conclusion of the divine Liturgy and after a supplication with the icon of the saint, participants were hosted to monastic lunch, after which His Beatitude left for Jerusalem.

Biography of Saint John the New Hozevite

Elias Iakov (passport name) was born in the village of Horondistea, in Botosani county, Romania, in 1913 to Maximus and Ekaterini. Due to the fact that he was orphaned by both parents, he was raised until the age of 11 by his pious grandmother Maria, who instilled in the child’s soul the Divine Teachings. After she slept in the Lord, he passed into the guardianship of an uncle and lived a hard childhood in the midst of contempt and deprivation, but with hope firmly oriented to the Lord Jesus, Whom he actually saw with his own eyes on Easter 1927, when he was crying inconsolably at the grave of his parents.  The Lord said to him in a sweet voice:

“Don’t cry my child and don’t be sad, because yes, I am with you. Christ is Risen!”

Studious and intelligent, after seven years of studies – in conditions of incredible poverty – in 1932 he graduated from the Lyceum with honours. Between the two options: continuing studies in Theology, or joining the Monastic order, the holy desire of Monasticism, following a Divine Prompting, prevailed. The Grace of God guided his steps in 1933 to Neamts Monastery, where he became a monk in 1936, and was given the name Ioannis. An ardent desire to worship the Holy and Life-giving Tomb, led him the same year to Jerusalem, where with the blessing of the blessed Patriarch of Jerusalem, Damianos, he served as a monk in the Lavra of Saint Savva for ten years. A model of a subordinate, he gave himself up to monastic striving and after a blessing, he lived for seven years (1947-1952) in the Romanian Hermitage of the Holy Forerunner in Jordan, under particularly adverse living conditions.

Based on his ordination letter preserved in the Archives of the Holy Monastery of Hozeva, his transfer to the river Jordan was preceded by his ordination as Deacon and Priest. Archimandrite Victorinos, head of the Romanian Representation in Jerusalem, had requested his ordination to the Romanian Patriarch Nikodimos. He, in turn, put the request to the Patriarch of Jerusalem Timotheus I, who accepted it. The first ordination was held on April 21, 1947, in the Holy and Life-giving Tomb of the Lord by His Eminence Archbishop Panteleimon of Naples and the second on April 28, 1947, by the His Eminence Archbishop Epiphanios of Philadelphia.

Expelled from the Romanian Monastery of the river Jordan, in 1952, as a nightingale that loves the desert, he settled with his co-ascetic Ioannikios (also of Romanian origin) in the Lavra of Hozeva for one year and six months. Then, seeking complete isolation to indulge in even higher spiritual struggles, he went alone to the hermitage of Saint Anne, which belongs to Hozeva. Only “the Lord saw” what he experienced and what experiences the Saint lived there, “alone with God only”. Every Sunday he went to the Coenobium to participate in the Divine Liturgy and to receive the absolutely necessary food, which the love of the Hozevite Fathers offered him. He himself diligently hid his ascetic struggles, choosing the way of life of the ancient Abbas, the “surreptitious living”. An excellent connoisseur of Greek, immersed in the Patristic texts, he translated a sufficient number of divinely inspired works into Romanian (they were published for the first time in 1968) and indeed the Salutations of the Most Holy Theotokos. Besides possessing a poetic talent, he left a rich collection of poems, of an exceptional height of meaning, the largest part of which has been translated into Greek.

On August 5, 1960, he slept in the Lord at the age of only 47 years, due to his failing health. His departure, which he had foreseen, was one befitting the righteous; Just a few minutes after the Holy Communion, as described by an eyewitness, the already blessed Father Basilios Vakras.

In October 1979, after miraculous signs, his relics was found incorrupt by the Hegoumen of the Hozeva Monastery, blessed Archimandrite Amfilochios. On the 28th of July 1980, with the holy Patriarchal blessing of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Benedictus, his incorrupt relics was transferred from the Skete to the Holy Monastery, where it is kept today in the Catholicon Church, as a precious treasure and the source of many miracles! Glory and wealth of the Hozevite Fathers, of the Hagiotaphite Fathers in general, but also of the entire Church in service!

On Sunday, January 18/31, 2016, his canonization was announced in a solemn Divine Liturgy, which was officiated by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III.

His commemoration is celebrated on July 28th/August 10th, the day of the translation of his holy relics”.

From the Secretariat-General