AMERICA OF MY HEART
Saint John Karastamatis of Alaska
& Santa Cruz, California, USA, from Greece
A novel figure of Orthodox Christianity
Martyred by the Satanists in 1985
Feast Day, May 19
The Holy Martyr, Father John of Santa Cruz, was born in 1937 in the Greek village of Karastamatis from the Island of Andros. At the age of 20 years he leaves for America and later started a family. He is ordained priest and for 10 years he ministers with apostolic zeal many churches in Alaska.
In 1981, father John came to the Church of Prophet Elijah in Santa Cruz,CA which he restored and renewed. Under his ministry, this church is soon to become the center of Orthodox catechesis throughout this region where many people were alienated from God and the Church.
Father John was simple in conduct, loved his parishioners and his door was always open for everyone, even atmidnightif he was called. He preached with great fervor. Fr. John loved God and desired for everyone to love Him. He would go to parks and public streets to talk to young people who knew nothing about Christ or were Jews.
In his native village from theIslandofAndros, a miracle occurred involving the white lilies: considered to be the flowers of the Virgin Mary. When the lilies bloom, they get uprooted and are placed in the Church before the miraculous icon of the Mother of God. Later of course, the leaves and flowers wither and fall, leaving only a dry stem. The dry stalks, however, are left like this near the icon of the Virgin and during the Dormition fast, the lilies begin to sprout and flourish thus at the feast of the Dormition, the lilies are already blossomed. This phenomena is repeated each year.
Father John, when he was growing up on the island of Andros knew about this miracle. So he went to the Monastery of St Nicholas from the island and asked Abbot Dorotheos for few dried lilies. He took few dried stalks with him toAmericaand placed them in the Continue reading “Saint John Karastamatis of Alaska & Santa Cruz, California, USA, from Greece ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* A novel figure of Orthodox Christianity – Martyred by the Satanists in 1985”