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MY LIFE IN CHRIST or Moments of Spiritual Serenity and Contemplation, of Reverent Feeling, of Earnest Self-Amendment, and of Peace in God (2021)

Revision 2021 in modern English.


Editor’s note:

St John of Kronstadt – (1829–1908), Russian Orthodox archpriest

Part I 1–300 Chapter 1 301–600 Chapter 2 601–814 Chapter 3 Part II 815–1200 Chapter 4 1201–1500 Chapter 5 1501–1822 Chapter 6  


Translated, with the Author's sanction, from the Fourth and

Supplemented Edition


Edited by Peter L. Scott- 2021

Copyright CCL(Creative Common License) 2021: This work may be freely given and shared,. However, it or any portion may not be used to generate any kind financial or material gain or any other type of compensation by itself or as part of something else.

Editor’s note:

First of all, I believe that this is a book that every Christian (or even those searching) should have and read. It is that helpful in my opinion. That said, my goal in editing this work was to update the language to a more modern version of English while still preserving the original intent, thoughts and instruction of Saint John and thereby making it more accessible to modern readers. There are perhaps other revised versions of My Life, but I wanted my version to be available free of charge to everyone. My version is only available in digital formats-(although you can print it yourself if you want) PDF, e book and audio-book. About the revisions: I got rid of the more archaic wordings but also constantly referred back to the original in Russian to make sure the meaning hadn’t been changed. The Russian version I found is most likely not the fourth edition as was translated by Goulaeff as I found several verses in the Russian that weren’t included in the English translation, which I have included. I have also separated the 2 parts into chapters and then individual verses as I found in the Russian version. I believe this makes it an easier read and what was originally intended. Other than the above mentioned changes, I have not changed the order or structure of the book as I believe Saint John had a specific reason for ordering his thoughts this way in this book, even though it may seem to some as disorganized. Katya was a great help in the editing and with the new translations in this book. Her knowledge of old Russian was invaluable when I was stuck on some words or phrases and she provided a lot of assistance in some existing translations that really don’t fit modern English or were perhaps mistranslated and so we re-translated a lot of words and phrases to keep the correct meaning. Aleksandra did a younger version of St John which really works as this was his first book. While working on this, I was constantly blessed by the words of Father John and it is my hope that this more modern version will allow more people to read his words of wisdom. If there are any mistakes in the editing, translations, etc., I take full responsibility and hope they will not take anything away from the wonderful insights of St. John to the reader. Blessings to you all! In all things, To God be the Glory!

St John of Kronstadt – (1829–1908), Russian Orthodox archpriest

Saint John of Kronstadt, born as Ivan Ilyitch Sergieff, the son of poor peasant folk, was born on the 19th of October 1829 in the little village of Soura, in the province of Arkhangelsk in the far north of Russia. His parents, poor and simple though they were, took great pains with his education, both spiritual and temporal. From school, where he had gone to the top of his class, he went to the seminary. From there he was sent in 1851, at government expense, to the Theological Academy of Saint Petersburg. While he was there his father died, and it was with great thankfullness to God that he accepted the post of registrar. Having considered becoming a monk, and going to eastern Siberia as a missionary, he came to the conclusion that there were many people around him as unenlightened as any pagan, and he decided to work for their salvation, after a dream in answer to prayer, in which he saw himself officiating in some unknown cathedral.

Soon after completing his studies he married Elisabeth, daughter of the Archpriest K. P. Nevitzki, and he was ordained priest in December 1855. Appointed as assistant priest at Saint Andrew's Cathedral, Kronstadt, when he entered it for the first time he recognized it as the church he had seen in his dream; and there, first as curate, and afterwards as rector, he served throughout the fifty-three years of his ministry. Cherishing a lofty ideal of the priestly vocation, he continued nightly to study and pray that he might perfect himself in it, while during the day he devoted himself to the many poor of his parish.

Father John, whose predecessors, apparently, had hardly even dared to penetrate the worst parts of the town, spent much of his time there, striving to heal bodies and souls alike, attracting to himself first the children, and then, through them, their parents. Often he found no time to eat until the late evening, and even then he would sometimes be summoned out again, and not return before the small hours; he gave away his own shoes, he gave away the housekeeping money: his wife gradually accustomed herself to it, and finally became something like his keeper.

In 1857 he was invited to teach the scripture in the municipal school at Kronstadt, and he accepted with joy, for he loved children, and always took great pains with them. When his fame had spread and he was constantly visiting Saint Petersburg, then to his own, his colleagues and pupils» great regret, he was forced to abandon his teaching post.

Another object of Father John's concern and labor was the removal of the widespread poverty that afflicted Kronstadt. At first he gave these beggars money for food and shelter, but he soon came to see that this was not merely useless, but positively harmful. In 1868 he conceived the idea of founding a House of Industry, comprising a number of workshops, a dormitory, a refectory, a dispensary, and a primary school. He formed a committee, and appealed for funds. His appeal was answered by rich and poor from all over Russia, and the House of Industry was founded in 1873. Father John administered a total of over $25:000 a year in numerous charities, half of it in Kronstadt.

There is an attractive power in the personality of Father John of Kronstadt, in his portrait, the magnetism of his writings, and in his diary My Life in Christ. There is a peaceful and consoling quality in the notes of his diary, not to mention the very subjects of his talks, which spiritually exalt, uplift, and strengthen.


I do not precede my book by any introduction: let it speak for itself. Everything contained in it is but a gracious enlightenment which was bestowed upon my soul by the all-enlightening Holy Spirit during moments of deep self-concentration and of self-examination, especially during prayer. When I had time, I noted down the edifying thoughts and feelings that came to me, and from these notes, continued for many years, this book has now been compiled; the contents are very varied, as will be seen by the readers. Let them judge them for themselves.

«He that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.» (1Corinthians 2:15.)


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