John Climacus


St John Climacus
(7th Century)

St John Climacus

St John Climacus was a seventh century Monk residing at St Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai. Wishing to live a life absent of worldly pleasures, he withdrew to a hermitage at the base of the mountain and made it his home for 20yrs. He studied scripture, including the lives of saints, and became a much respected Abbot and scholar of the monastery.

At about the age of 75yrs, St John relinquished the role of Abbot, hoping for a quieter life. However, through his continued religious teaching and daily example, he gained even greater notoriety.

Ladder of Divine Ascent

St John’s “Ladder of Divine Ascent” is well known. It describes the rising of the soul and body to God. There are 30 steps, each representing a year of Jesus’ life before his baptism and the start of his ministry. The ladder has three sections, steps 1-7 relate to general virtues for life, 8-26 instructions on vices and 27-30 everlasting happiness with God. It was initially compiled for a nearby community of monks but, “swiftly became one of the most widely read and much-beloved scripts of Byzantine spirituality”.

St John’s Feast Day is 30th March.


St John Climacus:
Pray for us that we will become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ and ascend the Divine Ladder.

Glory be to the…