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Life and Services for St. John of Tsarskoye Selo and Chicago
Missionary to America
Builder of Holy Trinity Cathedral
First clergyman martyred in the Russian Revolution
Feast: October 31


Troparion and Kontakion texts (Moscow Patriarchate, 1994)
Full service texts (Daniel Manzuk, 2004)
Molieben and Akathist texts (Daniel Manzuk, 2006)
Full service texts (Daniel Manzuk, revised 2010)
Vespers and Liturgy texts, traditional English (Hierodeacon Herman, 2014)
General Service to a 20th Century Russian Hieromartyr, Slavonic (Moscow Patriarchate, 2003)
Magnification music - (L’vov-Bakhmetev)
Magnification music, traditional English - (L’vov-Bakhmetev)
Magnification music - (Znamenny, Ledkovsky)
Magnification music, traditional English - (Znamenny, Ledkovsky)
Additional resources at OCA.Org – music, photos from canonization, text of canonization


St. John Kochurov

Missionary to America and First Hieromartyr under the Bolshevik Yoke

A photograph of St. John KochurovEarly Years

Saint John was born to a priest’s family on July 13, 1871.

He enrolled in the Ryazan Seminary where he showed great promise, excelling in his studies.  He furthered his education by enrolling in the prestigious St. Petersburg Theological Academy, completing his formal education and graduating in 1895.

Very shortly after graduating from the Academy, St. John married.  Later that summer, on August 27, 1895, at the St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg, he was ordained to the holy priesthood by Bishop NICHOLAS (Ziorov) of the Aleutians and Alaska.

Coming to Chicago

Saint John eagerly expressed a desire to be a missionary priest in far-off America and shortly thereafter he was granted a transfer to the United States and assigned to be the first permanent priest to serve St. Vladimir’s Church — eventually to become Holy Trinity Cathedral.  (The community had been served periodically by St. Alexis Toth of Minneapolis.)

Saint Vladimir’s Church community did not have its own church building yet.  At the direction of St. Tikhon, St. John contracted architect Louis Sullivan to design a temple for the community to use and construction began in April 1902.  He sought and received donations from Tsar Nicholas II and wealthy Chicagoans including Harold McCormick and Charles R. Crane, the American Minster to China.  For the laying of the cornerstone, a choir from St. Mary’s in Minneapolis under the direction of Professor Zaichenko came for the august occasion and he personally oversaw the construction.  In 1903, St. Tikhon consecrated the newly completed building.

Working beyond Chicago

Saint John, along with St. Alexis of Minneapolis were two of the more influential priests in the united brotherhood Russian American Orthodox Mutual Aid Society (later, Russian Orthodox Church Mutual Aid Society/ROCMAS).

While serving St. Vladimir’s, our holy father John also devoted great efforts toward the establishment of other churches.  He performed the first services for the Orthodox community on Chicago’s south-west side which eventually would become Archangel Michael Orthodox Church.  Beyond the immediate vicinity of Chicago, St. John was also instrumental in forming numerous other parishes including Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Madison, IL (1900), Three Saints in Streator, IL, St. Nicholas in Joliet, IL (1907), in addition to Buffalo, NY and Heartshorn, OK.

Administrative Work

He also worked in the field of translating religious texts into English, providing for the future of a Church that would not be populated predominantly by immigrants but English speaking native-born Orthodox.

His administrative abilities, put to use by founding parishes and serving as Dean of the central states, were also helpful in helping to organizing the historic first All-American Sobor, convened by St. Tikhon at Mayfield, PA in 1907.

Return to Russia

In 1907, he returned to Russia and due to his skills in education he was assigned to teach catechism in the schools of Narva, Estonia, where, as in America, the Orthodox were a minority.

In 1916, he was assigned to St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Tsarskoye Selo (near Petrograd), where his skillful and moving sermons attracted many people.

Martyrdom

On October 30, 1917, as the town was under attack by the Bolshevik forces during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution, people thronged to the churches seeking consolation.  The clergy conducted a prayer service and procession throughout the town to pray for peace.

The following day, the town was seized by the Bolsheviks and St. John was arrested, taken to the outskirts of town and shot to death.  He thus became the first clergy martyr of the Russian Revolution in 1917.

Several days following his death, St. John was buried in the crypt of St. Catherine’s Cathedral, which was later demolished some years later.

Epilogue

On December 4, 1994, St. John was canonized by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church.  In Russia, he is venerated as the first of the new martyrs of the 20th century, while in America, he is additionally remembered as a missionary and inspired preacher.


A full account of St. John’s life, translated from the Russian by Anatoly Antonov, can be found on OCA.Org.

 







This Week in the Life of your Bishop

Diocesan Assembly: October 8-10, Lansing, IL

Upcoming Feasts of the Church

Polyeleos-rank Jun 19 - The Holy Apostle Jude the Brother of the Lord
Polyeleos-rank Jun 23 - Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God
Great Feast Jun 24 - Nativity of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John
Polyeleos-rank Jun 26 - Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jun 28 - Icon of the Mother of God, called The Three Hands; Polyeleos-rank Our Venerable Fathers Sergius and Herman, Wonder-workers of Valaam
Great Feast Jun 29 - The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul
Polyeleos-rank Jul 2 - The Holy Hierarch John Maximovich, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco;
Polyeleos-rank Jul 3 - The Holy Hieromartyr Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow
Polyeleos-rank Jul 5 - Our Venerable Father Sergius, Abbot and Wonderworker of Radonezh
Polyeleos-rank Jul 6 - Our Venerable Father Athanasius of Mount Athos
Vigil-rank Jul 8 - The Sitka (Kazan) Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 10 - The Deposition of the Robe of our Savior; Polyeleos-rank Our Venerable Father Anthony of the Kiev Caves
Polyeleos-rank Jul 11 - The Holy Equal of the Apostles Blessed Princess Olga
Polyeleos-rank Jul 12 - Icon of the Mother of God, called The Three Hands
Polyeleos-rank Jul 14 - Our Venerable Father Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain
Vigil-rank Jul 15 - The Holy Equal of the Apostles Great Prince Vladimir
Polyeleos-rank Jul 17 - New Royal Passion-bearers Tsar Nicholas and his family
Vigil-rank Jul 19 - Our Venerable Father Seraphim, Wonder-worker of Sarov
Vigil-rank Jul 20 - Holy and Glorious Prophet Elijah
Polyeleos-rank Jul 23 - Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 24 - Right-believing Russian Princes Boris and Gleb
Polyeleos-rank Jul 26 - The Righteous Priest Jacob Netsvetov, Enlightener of the Native Peoples of Alaska
Polyeleos-rank Jul 28 - Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 30 - The Holy Martyr John the Warrior

 

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