Saint John Jacob of Neamț, also known as Saint John the New Chosebite, was celebrated Friday, August 10, 2018, at Chozeba Monastery, where His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem presided over the All-Night Vigil.
Saint John, born in Botosani County, Romania, conducted a life of spiritual feats and ascetism at the Holy Monastery of Chozeba.
During his last eight years, he lived in a cave, called Saint Anna, close to St George the Chosebite Monastery, where he fell asleep on August 5, 1960, at the age of 47.
Concelebrants for the All-Night Vigil included Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis, and Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina.
Pointing to Saint John Jacob, Patriarch Theophilos said that ‘he loved Christ with all his heart and mind’, and ‘he followed the ascetic path of monasticism, the path of righteousness that leads to the Kingdom of Heaven’.
‘And he chose the desert of the river Jordan to be the place of his striving, as well as the unwelcoming caves of Brook Chorath, the Monastery of Saints George and John the Chosebites,’ His Beatitude noted.
‘Today’s commemoration of our Father among the Saints John calls us to consider our Christian name,’ Patriarch Theophilos said.
‘To consider the fact that our faith has been built on righteousness and holiness of truth: “I am the way the truth and the life” (John 14:6),’ the Patriarch of Jerusalem added.
His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos ended his speech by urging the believers ‘to entreat our Holy Father John the New Chozebite who dances with the Angels on high, and has become a luminary and friend of Christ, so that he may intercede for us along with our Most Blessed Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, for the salvation of our souls and the prevailing of peace in our tested region.’
Rev. John Jacob of Neamt was glorified by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church on June 20, 1992, establishing his feast day on August 5, the day of his blessed repose.
The Holy Synod of the Jerusalem Patriarchate resolved to proclaim the sainthood of Saint John Jacob in 2015, with the ceremony taking place on January 31, 2016.
Photography courtesy of Jerusalem Patriarchate