Man of God:
Saint John of Shanghai
& San Francisco
by Peter Prekrestov
Man of God: Saint John of Shanghai & San Francisco draws the portrait of an amazing man. I finished reading this book last December, so it’s high time I offer a few notes on it.
He was apparently extremely humble, even in his look, and in his speech – he had a speech impediment, imagine for a bishop!
It’s remarkable how the Lord used him to lead his flock in China, and how John managed to take care of them when the regime turned against Christians and what he did to save them.
I was mostly in awe by his loving behavior towards all, as he helped so many in need or in sickness, when he was alive or after his death.
Just as a stairway is built into a tall building in order to enable one, by climbing the steps, to easily get to the top, so, too, the various days in the year serve as steps for our spiritual ascent.
I was however disappointed by the structure of the book: it’s not a biography per se, just a collection of witnesses and memories about him. They are not even all presented in a chronological order. I would have liked to see more how his life evolved. I saw for instance that he spent some time in France, and I waited all through the book to know more about it. There weren’t really any details about this period of his life.
So this is just a good introduction. If you know of a real biography of him in English or in French, please let me know.