Patricia St. John

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Patricia Mary St. John
Southampton, England
OccupationWriter, missionary nurse

Patricia Mary St. John (1919–1993) was an English writer. She worked most of her life as a Protestant missionary nurse in Morocco. Although at first she worked with her brother in the main foreign hospital, she later spent four years manning a village clinic in a more remote area. During her time as the house mother at Clarendon school which was under her aunt, she wrote Treasures of the Snow and Tanglewood's Secret. Her later novels Star of Light and Secret of the Fourth Candle were based on her experiences in Tangiers. She lived for some years until her death in Canley, Coventry and worshipped at Canley Evangelical Church. [1]

Early years[edit]

Her parents, Harry and Ella St. John, had been missionaries to South America for two years. Patricia was born, the third of five children, just after they arrived back in England.[2] From her memories of a year lived in alpine Switzerland she wrote her second book, Treasures of the Snow.

Mission work[edit]

After finishing high school she became a nurse during World War II, and after the War ended was a house mother at her aunt's boarding school for a couple of years before she joined her brother, Farnham, in Tangiers, Morocco, where he was medical director of a missions hospital. She died on 16th August 1993[3] in Canley, Coventry due to heart problems.[4]


St. John was known as one of the most prolific British Protestant evangelical writers of fiction in the latter part of the 20th century.[5] Some of her fiction books for children, Treasures of the Snow (1980-3), The Tanglewood's Secret (1980) and Star of Light, have been filmed.[6]


  • Man of Two Worlds: The Life of Ken Moynagh, Henry E. Walter Ltd (1976) (biography of Ken Moynagh)
  • R. Hudson Pope: A Biography, Patricia M. St John, Scripture Union (1967) (biography of R. Hudson Pope)
  • Until the Day Breaks: The Life and Work of Lilias Trotter, Pioneer Missionary to Muslim North Africa, OM Publishing (1990) (biography of Lilias Trotter)
  • Harold St. John, Loizeaux Brothers, 2d ed edition (1962) (biography of her father, Harold "Harry" St. John)
  • Patricia St. John Tells Her Own Story, OM Publishing (1995) (Also published as An Ordinary Woman's Extraordinary Faith) (autobiography)


  • The Tanglewood's Secret, Scripture Union (1967, first published 1948)
  • Treasures of the Snow, Scripture Union Publishing (September 1980, first published 1950)
  • Star of Light, Moody Press (July 1995, first published 1953)
  • Rainbow Garden, Moody Press (July 1995)
  • The Mystery of Pheasant Cottage, Moody Press (July 1995)
  • Where the River Begins, Victor Books (March 1987)
  • Three Go Searching, Moody Press, (July 1995) (also published as The Secret Boat, Marshall Pickering, November 1982)
  • The Secret of the Fourth Candle, Moody Press (June 1981)
  • Stories to Share, Shaw (March 7, 2000)
  • Nothing Else Matters, Scripture Union (May 2007) (also published as If You Love Me: A Story of Forgiveness)
  • The Runaway, Moody Publishers (February 8, 1985) (also published as The Victor)
  • I Needed a Neighbor, Scripture Union Publishing (September 1987) (also published as A Courageous Journey)
  • Twice Freed, Moody Publishers (1 January 1987) (historical fiction)
  • Friska My Friend, Scripture Union (1983, revised 2007, reprinted 2011)


  • Verses London: CSSM (1953)
  • Breath of Life: The Story of the Ruanda Mission, London: Norfolk Press (1971)
  • Would You Believe It? – You Can Grow to Know God, Marshall Pickering (August 1983)
  • Prayer Is an Adventure, Christian Focus Publications (March 2004)
  • Missing the Way: They Could Not Enter In (How Israel Missed God's Rest), Harvey Christian Publishers (1999)
  • A Missionary Muses on the Creed, Pickering and Inglis (1966) (also published as Life Everlasting)
  • Young Person's Guide to Knowing God, Christian Focus (2000, originally published in 1983 by Pickering and Inglis)


  1. ^ Patricia St. John Tells Her Own Story..
  2. ^ "Patricia St. John - Chapter 1 - Family Background". Kingsley Press. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  3. ^ Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England
  4. ^ "Patricia St. John". biblebaseassemblies. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  5. ^ Religion, Children's Literature, and Modernity in Western Europe, 1750-2000, edited by Jan de Maeyer, Leuven University Press, 2005, p. 136
  6. ^