Archbishop John Maximovitch, Wonderworker, of Shanghai
by Archimandrite Veniamin (Garshin) (+1994), founding president of the Fellowship of Saint Ioasaph of Belgorod in Shanghai, and founding parish priest of Saint Nicholas Church Bankstown Australia.Archbishop John has departed into the Heavenly Church. Now praying for the repose of his righteous soul one is involuntarily reminded of the words of the Gospel. A good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good (Luke 6:45). Everyone who had the opportunity to have close contact with Hierarch John, will say with sincerity that the Hierarch always bore these words in his heart.
Once he told me, "Prayer is the foundation of the success of archpastoral activity. In the course of the day one must spend six hours conducting church services, six hours contemplating on God, six hours doing good deeds, and six hours resting." He performed precisely that which would make him unusually firm, deeply humble and penetrating.
The Hierarch spent a lot of energy on children and young people. Thus he founded the orphanage of St Tikhon of Zadonsk, frequented all Russian educational institutions, constantly visited all classes of Religious Instruction, and personally conducted all examinations on that subject in all schools. An especially difficult task was the upbringing of the orphan children of the St Tikhon of Zadonsk Orphanage.
He always used to say that the hardest emotional difficulties the orphans have are before great holidays like Christmas Eve and before Pascha, when the orphans see how Christian families prepare themselves for the feastdays, how fathers and mothers take care of their children - and they see that they don't have that. He always strove to be to them both father and mother.
The kind Hierarch, while raising children in a strictly religious manner, would at the same time make Christmas tree parties, plays, and even acquired horns and wind instruments, resulting in a quite good brass orchestra. But of special joy for him was when the yong people would gather for the Fellowship of St Ioasaph of Belgorod, where lectures used to be conducted on religious and philosophic topics and Bible study.
Young men and women, the members of the St Tikhon of Zadonsk Orphanage, used to love Archbishop John to such an extent that they never felt they were orphans. They knew that they had a strong protector, their spiritual father, who would not allow anyone to hurt them in this earthly life of man.
To depict in full the inward life of the ascetic of prayer and pastoral work of Archbishop John is difficult indeed. We can testify only in part. Remembering, however, his archpastoral deeds as an Orthodox man of prayer and an ascetic, we see in reality the power of the words of the holy Apostle James, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Archimandrite Veniamin (Garshin)
Dean, Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral,
Strathfield, Sydney, Australia, 1966
in Blessed John The Wonderworker
by Fr Seraphim Rose and Abbot Herman,
St Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, California, 1998