Crazy John

I wanted to mention a book I finished reading recently, one that only took two days to read but could easily be read in one sitting (I didn’t have the time to sit that long). The name of the book is  “Crazy John”  and it’s a translation of a Greek book which apparently is quite popular in Greece. It’s a slender, 132-page book and very easy to read.

The main character is a fool for Christ known in an unnamed Athens neighborhood as Crazy John.  A major part of the story takes place at the local parish church after the Trisagion prayer for Crazy John who had passed away and the parishioners begin sharing one story after another of how John went out of his way to help them spiritually, emotionally and even (and in many cases) financially. The priest, listening to all the stories says at one point: “Oh what a treasure did our Lord hide in our neighborhood! What miracles took place right under our noses, and we didn’t realize it! How hard have our hearts become and how blind have we all turned by greed and seclusion from all but our close relations!”

The epilogue says that the time and the place where John lived is not what’s important, rather what is important  is whether we, as Christians, are willing to follow in the footstep of Crazy John.  Of course, this poses the question: did he actually exist or is this a work of fiction? To be honest I picked up the book thinking  it was a modern day fable and didn’t treat it as traditional hagiography which didn’t make it less enjoyable. In fact, I recommend you include it your list of summer reading.


3 thoughts on “Crazy John

  1. There is a lesson that can be learned from this book; namely, that Christians should love and respect all human beings, regardless of the intelligence or other traits a person may have that may not be to their liking.

  2. Similar books are “Pascha Transforms Wolfman Tom”, especially, and “The Hermitess Photini”, both of which are published by St. Anthony’s Monastery in AZ.

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