Living places of Saint John Maximovitch (+1966)

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ST JOHN MAXIMOVITCH OF SAN FRANCISCO

LIVING PLACES OF SAINT JOHN MAXIMOVITCH

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ST JOHN MAXIMOVITCH IN FRANCE

Reminiscences of his Spiritual Daughter

by Zinaida V. Julem

The period of Blessed John’s life in France has so far been rather obscure, and not much information about it has been available. A devoted spiritual daughter of his, the author of these memoirs, Zinaida V. Julem, fills in this gap, giving us a view from the “inside” and disclosing the mystical world of perhaps the holiest man of the 20th-century. Surely a prophet of such calibre could not get by without evoking envy and hatred, just as did the prophets of old. But to conceal this righteous man from the view of the thirsting new generation would be a sin, because the glory of God, revealed in the lives of the righteous, serves to enkindle that divine fire which Christ our Lord wishes to have burning upon this earth. (St. Luke 12:49).

In anticipation of the forthcoming 20th anniversary of Blessed John’s repose, which will occur on June 19/July 2, 1986, we here present a spiritual portrait of this wonderworker who once walked among us. This account comes from a simple loving heart, guarded by the Patristic awareness of sobriety. Realizing that Blessed John was touched by Divinity and was in contact with the mind of his Creator, the author was able to peer into the mystery of his sanctity. Although her observations only give us glimpses, they offer clear testimony to the close presence of the other world for which the Holy Orthodox Church prepares its children, and to the ability of God’s saints to penetrate that realm even while on earth. That mystery, that revelation beyond our glimpses, remains hidden in God. It is opened to those who, like Blessed John, ascend on the wings of divine love for God and their neighbor. And those of us who watch from below are given renewed hope and the inspiration to increase our upward striving.

Abbot Herman of Platina

ST JOHN MAXIMOVITCH IN SHANGHAI, CHINA

REMINISCENCES OF NUN EUPHEMIA, AS TOLD TO THE NUNS OF HOLY CROSS SKETE

from THE ORTHODOX WORD, No. 189, pp. 176-181

THE ORPHANAGE

There were always wars in China. The Chinese had large families with many children, and there was very little to eat. To save on food, they would get rid of newborns, placing them out on the street to freeze to death. Vladika John would pick them up and bring them to the orphanage. On these outings, the deacon of the cathedral would follow him in order to help and protect him. Once Vladika said to this deacon about a child, “Pick him up.” The deacon objected, “But he’s Chinese.” “But he is made in the image of God,” said Vladika. 

Thus the orphanage grew. Vladika John asked my mother Lydia to Continue reading “Living places of Saint John Maximovitch (+1966)”

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Jozef Van den Berg, actor, the Netherlands: From atheism to Orthodoxy (+Video)

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ORTHODOX HEART SITES

joseph

Jozef Van den Berg, actor, the Netherlands:

From atheism to Orthodoxy

Jozef Van den Berg (Beers, 22 August 1949) is a Dutch puppeteer, playwright and actor, who nowadays lives as a hermit.

http://vimeo.com/39403424

http://vimeo.com/9668812

Biography of Joseph Van den Berg

Youth

From the age of seven, he lived most of his youth at Cuijk, where his father bought an old rectory and tended an accountancy bureau. His father was a primary school teacher, first at Beers and then Rijkevoort, and a member of the resistance during the War. The family he belonged to consisted of eleven children. On January 30th, 1962, at the age of twelve, his father died and afterwards also his best friend Fritz. Already as a child, Van den Berg wanted to become a priest. For Christmas his mother gave him a set to play a little priest. At the age of 10, he played his first theater role as a Pharisee in a Passion Play of the Welpen at the patronage building at Cuijk. At the age of 13 he got a girlfriend, because of which the priesthood disappeared into the background. During his secondary school at the Internaat Bisschoppelijk College [Boarding School Diocesan College] in Roermond he was very active in school theater. For example, he played Sisyphus in the play Sisyphus And Death, and later on, inspired by Henk van Ulsen, with a lot of success Diary Of A Madman by Gogol.

Puppetry

At the end of the 60’s, after obtaining his high school degree, he passed his entrance examination and started at the theater school in Arnhem, which he quit after the second year. He went to live with Ruth in Arnhem and later on moved to Groningen. He applied for social assistance and started playing puppet shows. He borrowed a horse and cart and wandered around puppetering. In this period he became member of the Gurdjieff movement. After a show in Groningen he got acquainted to his wife Hansje, whom he married on September 11th, 1973. They had four children: Lotte [nowadays a well-known playwriter, theater actor and director herself], Maartje, Jasmijn and Jesse Van den Berg. In Groningen he lived on a farm and rented a basement at Zwanestraat where on Wednesday afternoon he played for children, and on Friday evening for adults. He started his professional career as a puppeteer in a puppet show and there he brought numerous characters to life. Eventually he removed the curtain and by doing so became the man with the puppets, visible for the audience. His improvisations were replaced by a play with a title. With a fire department truck, he played with a wandering puppet theater. Living in a mobile home, he brought his plays to the people.

In 1980 he received the Hans Snoekprijs for Appeloog [Apple Eye], left Groningen and moved to Herwijnen in the Betuwe region. There he wrote Moeke en de Dwaas [(little) Mother and the Fool] for the Holland Festival. In Continue reading “Jozef Van den Berg, actor, the Netherlands: From atheism to Orthodoxy (+Video)”