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Blessed John Climacus


Information on the early life of Saint John Climacus (from the word ladder) has not been preserved. From his works it is clear that he received a good education, and from an inner inclination, joined a Sinai monastery at the age of sixteen. He spent the first 4 years under the guidance of "staretsí Macarius, who tonsured him as a novice. After the death of the "starets" ó under whom he had spent 19 years ó Saint John began a life of a recluse. Concealing his monastic ordeals, he used to return to the monastery on Sundays, partook of Holy Sacraments and conversed with the Holy fathers in order to check spiritual condition. Having lived as a recluse for some 40 years, Saint John was elected Abbot of the monastery. However, after 4 years he returned to his solitary life and died at the age of 80, in 563. Saint John wrote "The ladder of divine ascent." In this book of 30 chapters, he traces the ascending steps towards spiritual perfection.

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