The Martyr John of Kazan suffered for Christ in the city of Kazan on January 24, 1529. During the reign of Great Prince Basil the Tatars swooped down upon Nizhni Novgorod. Many of the inhabitants were taken into captivity and brought to Kazan. Also among their number was the fearless John.
When the captives were distributed to their new owners, he was given to Alei-Shnura, who was related to the Khan. By day John honestly served his master, but at night he went without sleep and prayed, patiently enduring insults and abuse. The master resolved to force his servant to become a Moslem, but John firmly declared that he worshiped Jesus Christ as God.
In the winter the Tatars tied him up and led him to a Russian cemetery, mortally wounded him with swords, and threw him into the snow. That night, Saint John reached the door of some Russians living in Kazan, and he asked them to summon a priest. He received the Holy Mysteries and prayed all night, then died the following morning.