The saint for March 30
Saint John Climacus
Optional, Local Only, Roman Calendar
Feast--Orthodox Calendar

Born early 6th century
Died c. 679
Canonized Pre-Congregation

Venerated in both the Roman and Orthodox Communions, St. John Climacus is one of the preeminent Desert Fathers. He wrote a treatise consisting of thirty sermons on the spiritual ascent, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. His wisdom has caused him to be regarded as a spiritual father and teacher for those seeking a life of prayer and union with God for over fifteen centuries.

John retreated to the desert to seek God on the slopes of Mount Sinai when he was but 16 years old, and he spent his entire life in the desert, climbing the ladder to heaven. He spent his first twenty years in complete obedience to his own spiritual father, Martyrios. After the death of Martyrios, John then spent the following twenty in complete solitude in his cave. After that time he became, at their pleading, the abbot of a group of desert monks. He once spent an entire year in silence, after a reproach from a brother monk that he talked too much.

When he felt the time of his death approaching, he appointed his brother to the abbacy, but his brother was grief-stricken to be separated from John. John promised to ask the Lord for the favor of seeing his brother in heaven within the year; his brother followed John into eternal life ten months later.

The Ladder of Divine Ascent is a priceless spiritual classic, stuffed with excellent teaching. Here is but one brief morsel:

"Patience is a labor that does not crush the soul. It never wavers under interruptions, good or bad. The patient monk is a faultless worker who has turned his faults into victories. Patience sets a boundary to the daily onslaught of suffering. It makes no excuses and ignores the self... The patient man has died before his death, his cell being his tomb. Patience comes from hope and mourning, and indeed to lack those is to be a slave to despondency." ---St. John Climacus

Pray to Saint John for help in renouncing the self, help in prayer, and for help in aquiring the virtues of Patience, Humility,Obedience

Patron of Hermits, Monks, Nuns, all who follow the Path of Perfection
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