Sunday of St. John Climacos

Sunday of St. John Climacos

Fourth Sunday in Lent in the Orthodox Christian calendar
Orthodox Christians dedicate the fourth Sunday of Lent to St. John Climacos, born in Syria in 525 c.e. Although surnamed Scholasticas, St. John often is called "Climacos," meaning "of the ladder." This refers to his most important holy writing, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, which details in 30 parts, or steps, all the Christian virtues. Employing many parables and historical touches drawn from monastic life, it is considered by many to be a cornerstone of literature of spiritual struggle and growth.
St. John was well educated, but chose to abandon scholarship for spirituality. John went to Mt. Sinai, which was known for its holy monks, to find a teacher. Under the guidance of a monk named Martyrius, he practiced Christian virtues. After his mentor's death, John retreated into isolation for 20 years, where he studied the lives of the saints and became one of the most learned men of the Church. At age 70, John was persuaded to become leader of a group of monks. His guidance was so effective and renowned that the pope, St. Gregory the Great, gave him a large sum of money for the hospital of Sinai, where many pilgrims stayed. After only four years in the leadership position, John returned to his hermit's life of spiritual contemplation.
See also Sunday of Orthodoxy; Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas ; and Sunday of the Holy Cross
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