Born in the Ukraine in 1896, St. John first attended a military academy but when his family fled to Yugoslavia at the time of the Russian Revolution, he then switched to study theology, was tonsured a monk, and later ordained a priest. Because of his asceticism and great zeal, he was revered by many as a truly angelic man, an icon of a true monk. Consecrated a bishop at age 39, in 1934 he was sent to Shaghai where he built churches, an orphanage, and a hospital. When the Communist Party came to power in China, he fled with most of the Russian emigrees to the Phillipines, going next to Paris and then Brussels.
In 1962, St. John was appointed Archbishop of Western America and San Francisco, and celebrated Divine Liturgy daily, prayed all night (sleeping only about 45 minutes a night in short naps) and visited the sick. He comforted and healed many people, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike. This great wonder-worker died in 1966. His incorrupt relics were uncovered at his Cathedral 26 years later, and in 1994 was glorified as a universal saint. O Holy Father John of San Francisco, pray unto God for us!