Saint John Climacus

Today, the Sunday of Saint John Climacus, we celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the little chapel below the cave of the saint. Afterwards, we climbed up to the cave and lit candles. The day was already hot outside, but inside the cave, it was cool and refreshing.

5 comments to Saint John Climacus

  • Richard Saloom

    Dear Father Justin,
    That is a very interesting picture. He must have lived a very austere lifestyle.
    I have question regarding how the monks living in remote and likely dry locations get their food and water? Is it likely that they still had to “come to town” to get what they needed or was it brought to them? Did they choose to live close to some sort of water supply?
    They had great fortitude and devotion.

    • Father Justin

      I was able to spend three days at Saint Panteleimon, up in the mountains, for the beginning of Lent. When I was returning to the monastery, I stopped at one of the stands along the trail where they have tea and coffee. There were almost no visitors then, and four bedouin boys were making bread for their own breakfast. They rolled the dough very thin, and placed it on an upturned shallow metal bowl that had a fire burning underneath. They left it for thirty seconds on each side, and had fresh pita bread. I had wondered what the monks of old did for food, since there is no firewood in the desert. The bedouin boys had collected brush from the bushes growing nearby, and it was enough to bake their bread. It was an insight into how the monks of old must have lived.

  • Maria

    Thanks a lot dear father Justin!
    We miss all those divine places.

  • George livsey

    I always regretted not having visited the cave of St. John Climacus. Thank you for posting the photo. I only wish there were more photos.

  • LD

    There is a stream a half mile away with wild Sinai mint growing in it, showing that it contains moisture year round since mint cannot survive otherwise. The wadis collect and concentrate the water. There are many hermitage gardens and orchards, including a large date palm grove, nearby. During the Byzantine era, Sinai was even more productive agriculturally than it is today and the Byzantines relied heavily on water catchment. There are ancient cisterns and catchment basins everywhere.

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