Icon of St. John the New of Suceava (Repose) – S296


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St. John was from a merchant family from Trebizond, Turkey on the Black Sea and he followed his father’s trade.  Once while traveling for business by ship, a Venetian merchant named Reiz struck up a conversation with St. John.  They spoke at length about the difference between Orthodox and Catholic Christianity, and Reiz was always bested by St. John in their arguments about faith.  When they arrived at the city of Cetatea Alba, or the White City in Moldavia (now Bilhorod Dnistrovsky in the Ukraine), Reiz was vengeful and so falsely spread a rumor that St. John wished to convert from Christianity, which was untrue.

When St. John was brought before the authorities confessing Christianity, he was severely tortured and beaten with rods, and then imprisoned in chains.  He was before the governor and beaten with rods again until his insides were made visible.  Tied to the tail of a wild horse and dragged through the streets, St. John was then  stoned, and finally beheaded.  He died valiantly in faith and love at age 30 in a.d. 1330.  He was immediately a great miracle-worker and his wonderful relics are in Suceava, Roumania today.

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16th c.