More than 300 Orthodox Christians gathered on September 8, 2019, at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington D.C. to greet one of Russia’s most beloved saints—John of Kronstadt.
The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Washington, D.C. has a very special relationship with saints bearing the name John.
The parish was founded by St. John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San-Francisco in 1949, in honor of John the Baptist, and now, America’s first monument to Saint John of Kronstadt has been unveiled and blessed at the cathedral in honor of the cathedral’s 70th anniversary.
The cathedral dean, Archpriest Victor Potapov, reported that the Russian Aeroflot airlines transported the 1.2 ton statue free of charge, “thanks to a nudge from Russian ambassador Antonov,” and that it passed through customs “like a breeze.”
The statue was dedicated during the 70th anniversary celebration, on Sunday, September 8, 2019, being blessed by the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad (ROCOR), His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), Orthochristian reports.
Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov attended the festivities.
St. John of Kronstadt is called All-Russian, as he is associated strongly with many centers of Russian culture, not only St. Petersburg, but also Kiev and Pochaev. St. John was famous for calling all of Russia to repentance in the decades prior to the revolution.
The statue depicts the saint in his most iconic form, vested and holding a chalice, calling people to communion with the other hand.
Photo courtesy of Orthochristian