The Monk John of the Ladder (Lestvichnik; Klimatikos; Climaticus) Commemorated on the 4th Sunday of the Great Lent

The Monk John of the Ladder (Lestvichnik; Klimatikos; Climaticus) is honoured by Holy Church as a great ascetic and author of the reknown spiritual work called "The Ladder", whereby the monk likewise received the title "of-the-Ladder" [Lestvichnik (Slav.); Klimatikos (Grk.); Climaticus (Lat.)].

About the origins of the monk John there is almost no account preserved. Tradition suggests, that he was born about the year 570, and was the son of Saints Xenophones and Maria, – whose is celebrated by the Church on 26 January. The sixteenyear old lad John arrived at the Sinai monastery. Abba Martyrios became instructor and guide of the monk. After four years of living on Sinai, Saint John Lestvichnik was vowed into monasticism. One of those present at the taking of vows, – Abba Stratigios, predicted, that he was set to become a great luminary in the Church of Christ.

Over the course of 19 years the monk John pursued asceticism in obedience to his spiritual father. After the death of abba Martyrios the monk John chose an hermit's life, settling into a wild place called Tholos, where he spent 40 years in deeds of silence, fasting, prayer and tears of penitence.

It is not by chance that in "The Ladder" the monk John speaks thus about tears of repentance: "Just as fire burns and destroys firewood, so thus do pure tears wash away all impurity, both outer and inner". His holy prayer was strong and efficacious, as evidenced from an example from the life of the God-pleasing saint.


The Holy Martyr SabinusCommemorated on March 29

      The Holy Martyr Sabinus was governor of the Egyptian city of Hermopolis. During the time of persecution against christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), Saint Sabinus hid himself away with like-minded companions in a remote village. But his dwelling-place was revealed for two gold coins given to a certain ungrateful beggar, whom the saint had constantly fed and helped with money. Together with six other christians, Sabinus was seized, and after torture they were all drowned in the Nile (+ 287).