The Patriarchate of Jerusalem celebrated the feast of Saint John Jacob the New Chozebite on August 10.
This year, on the feast of Saint John Jacob, Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem presided over the all-night vigil at Chozeba Monastery, having as concelebrants Metropolitan Hesychios of Capitolias and Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantine.
The three hierarchs participated in the all-night vigil, from Wednesday evening to Thursday, in the church that houses the relics of the Romanian saint.
Saint John Jacob the New Chozebite was born on July 23, 1913, in the Romanian village of Crăiniceni, Botoşani county, receiving the baptismal name of Elijah. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised by his grandmother Maria and then by his uncle Alecu Iacob, who helped him continue his secondary and high school education.
In 1933 he entered the monastic community at Neamț Monastery, led by the future Patriarch of Romania, Nicodim Munteanu. Three years later, he became a monk by the name of John. He left for the Holy Land, where he first lived as a hermit, and after two years, he entered Saint Sava’s Monastery.
In 1947, he was ordained a priest and installed as abbot of the Romanian Hermitage of Saint John the Baptist in the Jordan Valley, where he remained until 1952.
He spent the last eight years in a hard-to-reach cave called Saint Anna, near St George the Chozebite Monastery.
He reposed there on August 5, 1960, aged 47.
Twenty years after his blessed repose, his grave was opened, where his body was found emitting a sweet fragrance. It was placed for veneration in the monastery’s church.
The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church canonized him on June 20, 1992. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem proclaimed his saintliness on January 31, 2016.
Photography courtesy of the Jerusalem Patriarchate