In the 70’s for some reason much of the Orthodox world was talking about the end of the world, thinking that the Apocalypse was nearing, and people were worried and scared about living in the end times. But Fr. Seraphim told us not to fear the end times. He reminded us that first of all, even the angels don’t know when the end times will be, only the Father knows, and of course we cannot know this information ourselves.
I went upstairs, turned around, and saw—on the wall, an icon of St. John of San Francisco! I practically fell into a stupor. I called for my husband and son: “Look! This is the home of Americans, Protestants. They couldn’t have icons in their house? Or it is just me?!” But, an icon there was, of course! It was Vladyka sending us a message that he himself had found us a home! It turns out that the former owners had gone to the monastery just for an excursion, and they liked Vladyka John so much that they bought the icon and hung it on the wall.
What else was Vladyka like? He was the embodiment of love. Even as an elderly hierarch, he could still make a prostration, asking forgiveness. He always took the blame upon himself. If someone bickered, he would get very concerned and try to reconcile everyone.
On the eve of the Synaxis of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, the already greatly weakened Vladyka gathered his last strength and prayed at the All-Night Vigil in his beloved Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral, built by St. John of San Francisco.