VALAAM

Schema-abbot John (1873-1958)


Schema-abbot John.

As an obedient monk of Valaam, John was sent north to the Pechenga region as an abbot for the St. Tryphon Monastery. Twelve years later Schema-John returned to become a schema-ascetic in Valaams most austere Skete, that of St. John the Baptist. He ended his life as the monastery's main father confessor, by that time already in "Valamo" in Finland. Not pretending to theologize, he pursued above all the virtue of sobriety ("nip-sis") which he felt Orthodox Christians of today's world are rapidly losing. With this in mind, he did not hesitate to write letters, which were published after his death and recently translated into a volume entitled 'Christ Is In Our Midst', which now is available in many languages. For convenience sake he succumbed to the New Calendar, a fact which he always lamented, but by the time he reposed Valamo had already returned to the old Church Calendar. He wrote about humility, "0 blessed humility, Thou art divine, for Thou didst bow the heavens and clothe Thyself in humanity and nail the sins of the whole world to the Cross. My soul trembles; how can I say anything about Thy greatness?"

Text from Valaam Patericon Book of Days
(St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina California)


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VALAAM