"God rules the world—only God, and no one else." In Memory of Fr. John (Krestiankin)

Today is the eighth anniversary of the repose of Archimandrite John (Krestiankin, March 29/April 11, 1910 – February 5, 2006). It is hard to overestimate what Fr. John meant to Orthodox Christians in Russia, and his writings and letters are still used as what the Russians call “desktop books”—the kind of books you keep on your desk to leaf through over and over again, always finding something that touches your soul when and where it’s needed.

In memory of Fr. John, we recall some of his essential spiritual instructions.


“The world is governed by God’s Providence alone, and in this is salvation for one who believes; in this is the strength to endure earthly sorrows.”

“My dears, the world is governed by God’s Providence and not by us mortals.”

“I will tell you from experience that the sooner we accept what God has given us, the easier it will be to bear God’s good yoke, His easy yoke. It becomes heavy from our inner resistance.”

“Such a time has come when only faith that God’s Providence orders life can overcome all the hardships of life.”

“Lord! You know all things; do with me as You will. Amen.”

“There are no forgotten people in God, and God’s Providence watches over everyone. God rules the world—only God, and no one else.”

“The main thing in spiritual life is faith in God’s Providence and discernment with counsel.”

“Throughout all times, the world is governed by God’s Providence; and shall we pronounce judgment on it?”

“He gave us the path to salvation, and He is the same in all ages, for Christians of the first and last times—and this is faith in God’s Providence, and life according to faith.”

“If you live for God, for the sake of God, and to the glory of God—that is salvation, that is truth, and not an ephemeral meaning of life.”

“Remember, my child, that the most valuable thing is to learn to commit yourself entirely to God’s will.”

“Fear divisions and schisms in the Church! Fear falling away from the Mother-Church; only she holds back the lava of antichristian debauchery in the world now! Fear judging the Church hierarchs, for this is destructive even without the seal of antichrist!”

“O wondrous path of manifest works, I sing a hymn to thee! People, surround yourselves, gird yourselves with small good works—a chain of small, simple, easy—costing you nothing—kind feelings, thoughts, words, and deeds.”

“Only in works of love toward our neighbor must we see and feel the possibility of transforming our love, the possibility of salvation. For only through mercy and love can we acquire the Holy Spirit of God, which alone can enable us to resist the terrible evil spirits that have possessed people and the world.”

“So let us not pass by hands stretched out to us, the suffering, whose eyes are filled with pain and woe; let us not pass by our neighbor.”

“My dear ones, let us not pass by our salvation; let us not pass by Christ Himself, Who in the image of every person in need, calls us to the supper of love.”

Archimandrite John (Krestiankin)

5 февраля 2014 г.

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One day my spiritual father, Archimandrite John (Krestiankin) of the Pskov-Caves Monastery, called me and said: "I am going to die soon. So please do me a favour, write down what you remember and what you want to tell people about me. Because afterwards you all are going to write something anyway, and you might come up with stories as ridiculous as they did with poor Father Nikolai, who “resurrected cats” and other fables like that. So I want to check everything myself for my peace of mind.”
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On February 5, 2006, Russia's beloved elder, Archimandrite John (Krestiankin), reposed in the Lord. The Pravdoliubov family, full of priests and even new martyrs, lived in Ryazan Province, where Fr. John served for many years as a priest in various parishes. This family has produced even more priests, one of whom serves in the Resurrection Church in Moscow, and has written his recollections of a life-long relationship with the wise spiritual instructor.
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A year has passed since the repose of Russia’s righteous elder, Archimandrite John Krestiankin of the Pskov-Caves Monastery. But his memory has far from faded; to the contrary, it is spreading far beyond the Russian borders, his writings being translated into other languages. Pravoslavie.ru (English edition) is therefore pleased to present each week day excerpts from the forthcoming book May God Give You Wisdom! The Letters of Fr. John Krestiankin (published by Sretensky Monastery and St. Xenia Skete). May our readers find in them answers to perplexities, sober instruction, and deep Christian wisdom, coming from a true elder and confessor of the Faith.
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