St. John of Kronstadt was born in 1829 in a poor Ilya Mikhailovich clerk and Theodora Vlasyevna Sergius, in the village of Sura Pinezhskiy County Arkhangelsk province. Grandfather and other ancestors in the family of his father were priests for 350 years. The boy was not strong, often sick. Mother prayed for a long time about his son, and Vanya, seeing praying mother taught himself deep soulful prayer.
father from an early age is constantly taking him to church and brought it special love to worship. About school in John did not go well. He has prayed for the gift of his mind to comprehend the teachings, and the Lord heard his prayer. After the parish school, he graduated from the seminary Arkhangelsk first to performance and the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. He married the daughter of a father Constantine Nesvitskogo — Elizabeth. The couple took over the feat of virginity.
The young priest was appointed Senior Priest of St. Andrew's Cathedral city of Kronstadt. At the time, the Government refers to Kronstadt murderers, thieves and other criminals. At those rejected by all people and drew the attention of a young priest Kronstadt. Every day he would come to their dugouts and cellars than 10-15 minutes to perform any required and walk away and he went to live priceless soul, to the brothers and sisters who remained there for hours, talking, exhorted, comforted, cared for the sick, wept and rejoiced with them.
He went to buy food, the pharmacy for medicine for the doctor gave the poor all his money, clothes and shoes. He left it there happy, hoping that the Lord would send funds to further deeds. Kronstadt residents saw as he returns home barefoot and without his robe and brought my mother shoes, saying: "Your gave his someone will come barefoot."
By giving all their money to the poor, his father John was soon convinced that such charity is not enough to satisfy those who need it. He urged residents of Kronstadt help homeless poor. People actively responded to the request of the pastor. Through the efforts of Father John of Kronstadt was arranged with the House of Industry workshops, a school, a kindergarten, a shelter, a dining room, a library, a free clinic, a hospice and a rooming house. Charity work his father John the millions rubles a year.
December 10 (the new style — December 23) 1908 Father John made last Liturgy, and in the morning December 20 (on January 2, new style) quietly gave up his spirit to God. He was buried in the lower church he founded in December 1902, Johann convent on the river Karpovka in St. Petersburg.
Glorified St. John of Kronstadt Cathedral in 1990.