Born on August 23, 1902 in Leontiev Lane in Moscow. Dmitry Alekseevich was a representative of the Tula branch of the ancient Roda Shakhovsky.
In the autumn of 1915, Shakhovskaya entered the imperial Alexander Lyceum in Petrograd. After the revolution of 1917, returned to the family estate in the Tver region. A riot occurred in the village, his mother was arrested and Dmitry had to experience all the "charms" of the revolutionary tribunal. As a result, the princess was liberated, and Dmitry Alekseevich went to the south of Russia. (Shakhovskoy 1977, 9,35,49-52)
In June 1918, Shakhovsky arrived in Rostov-on-Don and entered the solid-definite in the Volunteer Army of General Anton Ivanovich Denikin. There I got acquainted with Ataman P. N. Krasnov. Fucked under Queen and was contuge. Later went from Novorossiysk to Sevastopol. Served on a fleet since 1919 by a radio lane. A year later, I went to Istanbul and in fact immediately went to Paris to the family of his aunt Maria Anatolevna Shakhovskaya.(Shakhovskoy 1977, 56-60,64-69)
Since 1921, Shakhovskaya with studied in a free school of political sciences in Paris. In the same year he met Ivan Bunin. Dmitry Alekseevich's mother and sister settled in Belgium and achieved a scholarship to study in the University of Louven. In 1922, Shakhovskaya moved to Luvan and began to study at the Historical and Philological Faculty of the University of Luvan. Shakhovskaya began writing poems and publish them in Paris in the journal Berdyaev "Path". Participated in the congresses of the Russian Union of Christian Movement.(Shakhovskoy 1977, 70-72)
After graduating from the university in 1926, he worked as the editor of the literary magazine "Blagranized" in Brussels.
At the same time in the Panteleimmon Monastery on Athos on the blessing of the Bishop of Veniamine (Fedchenkov), Shakhovskaya was tonsured in a monk named John in honor of the Apostle John the Bogoslov.
Upon returning to Paris, John (Shakhovskaya) entered the Paris Saint-Sergievsky Theological Institute.
In the same 1926, in the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, he was ordained in San Ierodiacon Metropolitan EurogiM (Georgievsky). (Dom russkogo zarubezh'ya imeni Aleksandra Solzhenitsyna 2010)
After a year of Ierodiacon, John sent to the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians to Bishop Veniamin (Fedchenkov). On March 6, 1927, he was ordained in the San Hieromonach in the jurisdiction of the ROCZ, after which he consisted of the assistant of the abbot of the temple under the Crimean Cadet Corps in the White Church. From September 1, 1927, Shakhovskaya became the abbot of St. George Temple and the lawpower in the Cadet Corps.
In 1930, Father John Shakhovskaya returned to Paris, where he passed into the jurisdiction of the Western European Exarkhat, headed by the Metropolitan Energie (Georgievsky). From 1931 to April 19, 1932, Shakhovskaya became the first abbot of the church of the Emergency Savior in Anern. (Dom russkogo zarubezh'ya imeni Aleksandra Solzhenitsyna 2010)
In 1932, Father John went to Germany and became the abbot of the Holy Vladimir Temple in Berlin. Three years later, Shakhovskaya was erected in San Igumen.
From May 26, 1936, the dear parishes of the Exarchate Metropolitan Energia in Germany, from May 2, 1937, Shakhovskaya accepted San Archimandrite. The same was the spiritual leader of the Volunteer Russian company in the ranks of the phalanxists of General Franco during the Civil War in Spain.
Father John wrote about his work: "My Berlin parish St. kn. Vladimir was not only the place of my parish work, but ... became the center of the work of the printed, missionary and blessed. Over the years I had to publish a lot of books and visit everything except Albania, the countries of Europe with the word of gospel to people of Russian scattering. Especially consolation and fruitful were my lecture trips to Latvia, Estonia and Finland, where the indigenous Russian population remained. "(polit.ru 2016)
During the war, he was supervised by Gestapo. In February 1945 he was sent to France and returned to Paris.
In 1946, at the invitation of the famous aircraft designer and entrepreneur, the inventor of helicopters Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky Father John moved to America (Sikorsky came to the Holy Land and to Europe, was the sign of church leaders of Russian emigration).
The next three years by Shakhovskaya served in Los Angeles. In 1947 he accepted the San Bishop of the Brooklyn American Orthodox Church.
In 1947-1950, the rector of the Holy Vladimir seminary, since 1950 - Bishop San Francis and West American, since 1961 - Archbishop.
(Dom russkogo zarubezh'ya imeni Aleksandra Solzhenitsyna 2010)
From 1948, almost 40 years later he led on the radio station "Voice of America" the transfer of "conversations with the Russian people." He was engaged in writing theological works, which were translated into many foreign languages.
He took an active part in the process of separating the American Metropolis from the ROCD and receive the status of the American autocephalous church. He ordered the South American diocese and overseas matropolis affairs. Actively participated in the ecumenical movement, was a member of the World Council of Churches.
In 1975, he temporarily gone on peace by illness, and since 1978 he was constantly alone. He lived in Southern California, in Santa Barbara - the city that he called earthly paradise.
Archbishop John (Shakhovskaya) died on May 30, 1989 in Santa Barbara (California), buried at the Serbian cemetery. (Biryukova 2015)