May 31, 2024

The Missing Right Hand of Saint John the Russian Found and Returned After 100 Years

The sacred relic of St. John the Russian with its missing right hand replaced with a golden effigy.

The year 2024 marks the 100th anniversary since the relics of Saint John the Russian were brought from Prokopi of Cappadocia to New Prokopi in Evia, by refugees who did not want to leave their beloved Saint behind. On Wednesday, May 15th 2024, in celebration of the 100th anniversary, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Halkidos revealed to the faithful that the missing right hand of Saint John the Russian, which was considered lost for decades, has been found. He also revealed that on the feast of the Saint, Monday the 27th of May, the right hand would be reunited with the incorrupt body of the Saint.

It appears that a portion of the right palm and fingers of the Saint were kept by a family from Cappadocia for 100 years. This family today, who are two siblings of the third generation that descended from the original owners from Cappadocia, decided with the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the relics of the Saint to Evia, to return it where it came from for a reunion with the body of the Saint, at the prompting of their spiritual father. Despite the personal loss of the relic, and the miracles they have witnessed through it, they attended the event of the reunion and knew it was the right decision. Up until now, a golden effigy of a right hand has been used as a replacement.

Portion of the right hand of St. John the Russian at Panteleimon Monastery

Another portion of the Saint's right hand was donated in 1881 to the Panteleimon Monastery of Mount Athos, for their assistance in the construction of the Church of Saint John the Russian in Cappadocia, and is still there.

Indeed, during the Great Vespers service on Sunday May 26th, which was the eve of the Saint's feast day, the incorrupt right hand of Saint John the Russian was reunited with his body, as it was received by Archbishop Hieronymos of Athens and All Greece, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Halkidos and Metropolitan Seraphim of Karystia. Over the following days, thousands of pilgrims came to venerate the relic of Saint John the Russian. 


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