As we continue to look at various Saints from Estonia, we turn again to a martyr. Again, St. John was martyred by the Bolsheviks in 1917. As a priest, St. John requested to be sent to the United States as a missionary priest and was very involved in translating theological and liturgical works into English.
When he returned to Europe in 1907, he was assigned to Narva, Estonia, where he continued to teach catechumens about Holy Orthodoxy. In 1916, he was transferred to St. Petersburg, where he became very popular.
On October 31, 1917 (old style), the Bolsheviks entered Tsarskoe Selo in force and arrested Fr. John. He was taken by the Bolsheviks out of town where he was summarily shot. By this act, Fr. John became the protohieromartyr of the Bolshevik revolution and the Soviet yoke. Fr. John was buried several days later in the crypt of St. Catherine's Cathedral.
On December 1994, Fr. John was glorified by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, in session at St. Daniel's Monastery, Moscow, Russia, as the first of the new martyrs of the 20th century. In United States he is also honored as a missionary and inspired preacher.
You can read more here.
Troparion (Tone 1)
Aflame with love for God,
You gave your life as a martyr for Christ and neighbor;
O Hieromartyr, John,
Entreat the Most Merciful God
To preserve the Holy Church in peace and save our souls.
Kontakion (Tone 8)
As you zealously fulfilled your pastoral service,
You brought your soul to God as a well-pleasing sacrifice, O Father John.
Entreat Christ God to grant peace to the world and great mercy to our souls.