Feast Day: November 12th
The Life of Saint John the Merciful: At the beginning of his Patriarchal service he ordered his stewards to compile a list of all the poor and downtrodden in Alexandria, which turned out to be over seven thousand men. The Saint ordered that all of these unfortunates be provided for each day out of the Church’s treasury…
Apolytikion: In patiently enduring, you obtained your reward, O Venerable Father. You persevered in your Prayers without ceasing; and you loved the impoverished and you satisfied them. We entreat you, intercede with Christ God, O Blessed John the Merciful, for the Salvation of our Souls.
Kontakion: Thy riches and wealth didst thou disperse unto the poor; thou now hast received the Heavens’ riches in return. For this cause, O all-wise John, we all honour thee with our songs of praise as we keep thy memorial, O namesake of almsgiving and of mercy.
Saint John the Merciful was Ordained Patriarch, and he thanked God for this position which enabled him to better oversee all the Spiritual and physical needs his flock. Saint John the Merciful truly was merciful, taking after Our Lord Jesus Christ he gave to everyone in need and never refused anyone help, and most importantly, he loved all and Prayed for everyone.
“I thank You, my Lord and God, for you made me worthy to give back the gifts which You gave me.”
“The long-suffering of God is unchangeable and His Mercy is kind… How many criminals are there who go out to kill and rob that He conceals in order that they may not be captured and placed under tortures? Pirates sail the sea and God does not order the sea to drown them. How many falsely swear by Holy Communion and He tolerates not repaying them for that with evil? Robbers steal on the road and He does not give them over to the beasts to tear them to pieces… Libertines go off with prostitutes and He tolerates them. Why all of this? Because He waits for repentance and conversion. Truly, God does not want the destruction of a sinner… That is why, brethren, let us be ashamed before the most lenient Lord God.”
“I warn you, my children, not to be so ready to mock at, or judge, the acts of other people. For we have often seen the sin of the fornicator, but his repentance, which he made in secret, we did not see, and we may have seen somebody steal, but we know nothing of the groanings and tears which he has offered to God. We still think of him as we say him, a thief, a fornicator or a perjuror, but in the sight of God his secret repentance and confession have been accepted, and in His eyes he in honourable.”
We are Blessed to have a portion of the Holy Relics of Saint John at our Church of Saint Paraskevi, Saint Barbara and Saint John the Merciful, in St Albans.