Archimandrite John (Ivan Mikhailovich Krestiankin) of the Monastery of the Caves of Pskov was born in 1910 in the city of Oryol, Russia. He was the eighth child of Michael and Elizaveta Khrestyankin. The name Ivan (John) was given to him in honor of Saint John the Forerunner. He entered the ranks of the clergy early on, but in 1950 he was arrested by the Soviet authorities. The Elder would eventually remain in the camps for five years. At the end of his earthly journey he used to mention that those years were the happiest of his life! “God was with me,” he said, “For some reason, I don't remember anything bad. That's all I remember: the sky open and the Angels singing in the heavens! Now I don't have such a prayer...".