The Right Reverend Filaret suggests that John was a noble family and an educated man (he knew Latin). But according to the circumstances of the time of Tsar John IV the Terrible, it is very likely that he fled from Moscow from the horrors in order to serve the Lord in silence and obscurity. In Rostov, Blessed John took upon himself the feat of foolishness, enduring needs and sorrows. He had no permanent home and only occasionally rested in the house of his confessor, the priest of the All-Holy Church, or with an elderly widow. He had "hair on his head is great," which is why he was called a Hairy one. Living in humility, patience and unceasing prayer, he spiritually nursed many people, including the Monk Irinarch, a recluse of Rostov (memory January 13/26). Blessed John died after long labors, having endured many sorrows, in a very old age on September 3, 1580 (1582) and, according to his will, was buried behind the altar of the Church of St. Vlasia.
The burial of Blessed John was marked, according to legend, by a terrible storm, lightning and thunder, which made a depressing impression on everyone. Pious people from the time of the blessed one's burial came to his grave and took the earth; many received healings by faith and therefore were nicknamed St. St. John the Merciful, identifying him with St. John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria, whose memory is November 12/25. Among those who were healed was Metropolitan Kirill of Rostov, who lost an arm and a leg in old age, and therefore left the administration of the diocese. After fervent prayer over the tomb of Blessed John, the elderly saint, brought to the church in his arms, received a sudden relief from his illness, so that he could already go to the bishop's house himself, and subsequently not only performed divine services, but also managed the diocese again during the captivity of his famous successor Filaret Nikitich Romanov (Patriarch of All Russia).
Over the grave of Blessed John, instead of the former wooden Vlasiev Church, a stone church was built in honor of the Tolga Icon of the Mother of God with a chapel of St. mch. Vlasiy.
The memory of Blessed John Vlasaty, the fool for Christ's sake, the miracle worker of Rostov, is celebrated on the day of his death – September 3/16 and again – November 12/25 in memory of the Holy Patriarch of Alexandria John the Merciful, whose name he bore.