Venerable John Climacus of Sinai, Author of "the Ladder"
Saint John of the Ladder is honored by Holy Church as a great ascetic and author of the renowned spiritual book called THE LADDER, from which he is also called "of the Ladder" (Climacus).
There is almost no information about St John's origins. One tradition suggests that he was born in Constantinople around the year 570, and was the son of Sts Xenophon and Maria (January 26).
John went to Sinai when he was sixteen, submitting to Abba Martyrius as his instructor and guide. After four years, St John was tonsured as a monk. Abba Strategios, who was present at St John's tonsure, predicted that he would become a great luminary in the Church of Christ.
For nineteen years St John progressed in monasticism in obedience to his spiritual Father. After the death of Abba Martyrius, St John embarked on a solitary life, settling in a wild place called Thola, where he spent forty years laboring in silence, fasting, prayer, and tears of penitence.
It is not by chance that in THE LADDER St John speaks about tears of repentance: "Just as fire burns and destroys the wood, so pure tears wash away every impurity, both external and internal." His holy prayer was strong and efficacious, as may be seen from an example from the life of the God-pleasing saint.
Propers for John of Sinai - Monk and Writer
O GOD, by whose grace the blessed John Climacus enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we may be inflamed with the same spirit of discipline and love, and ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle - Philippians 3:7-15
The Gospel - St. Luke 12:22-37
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