St. John Climacus
(around) 579 :: Died:
St. John was born in Palestine and was a disciple of St. Gregory Nazianzen. If he wished, he could have become a famous teacher, but instead he decided to serve God with his whole heart. He joined a monastery on Mount Sinai when he was sixteen. Then he went to live for forty years alone in the desert. He spent all his time praying and reading the lives of the saints.
At first, St. John was tempted by the devil and he felt all kinds of bad passions trying to make him sin. But he put all his trust in Jesus and prayed harder than ever. So the temptations never made him fall into sin. In fact, he only grew holier. He became so close to God that many heard of his holiness. They came to ask him for advice.
God gave St. John a wonderful gift. He was able to bring peace to people who were upset and tempted. Once a man who was having terrible temptations asked St. John to help him and said how hard it was for him to fight these temptations. After they had prayed together, peace filled the poor man's soul. He was never again troubled with those temptations.
When St. John was seventy-four years old, he was chosen as abbot of Mount Sinai. He became the superior of all the monks and hermits in the country. St. John was then asked to write the rules which he had lived by all his life so that the monks could follow his example.
Humbly, St. John wrote the book called The Ladder of Perfection, or The Climax of Perfection. And that is why he is called "Climacus." St. John died in 649.
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