Our Holy Father John Climacus (of the Ladder)
The author of the famous 'Ladder', he came from an unknown place to Mount Sinai as a sixteen-year-old boy and remained there, first as a novice, then as a hermit and finally as abbot of Sinai, until he died at the age of eighty, in about 649. His biographer, the monk Daniel, says of him: 'He brought his body up to Mount Sinai, but his spirit he brought to the Mount of Heaven'. He spent nineteen years in obedience to his spiritual father, Martyrios. Anastasius of Mount Sinai, who saw John once as a young man, foretold that he would be abbot of Mount Sinai. After the death of his spiritual father, John took himself off to a cave, where he lived for twenty years in strict asceticism. His disciple, Moses, fell asleep one day in the cool shade of a huge rock. John was at prayer in his cell, and, perceiving that his disciple was in danger, began to pray for him. Moses came up to him later, fell to his knees and began to thank him for saving him from certain death. And he related how he had heard John calling him in his sleep and had jumped up at the very moment that a rock fell. Had he not jumped out of the way, the rock would certainly have killed him. At the importunate urging of the brethren, John accepted the abbacy, and guided their souls to salvation with loving zeal. He once heard a monk reproach him for being too verbose. He was not in the least angered, but was silent for an entire year, not uttering a single word until the brethren begged him to speak. He then began to instruct them with the wisdom with which God had endowed him. Once 600 pilgrims came to Mount Sinai. At supper they all noticed an agile young man dressed as a Jew who was serving at table and giving orders to the other servants, taking charge of everything. Suddenly, he disappeared. While everyone was pondering this and asking questions among themselves, John said: 'Do not bother to look for him; that was the prophet Moses serving you in his own home.' During the time that he was silent in his cave, John wrote many instructive books, of which the most famous, 'The Ladder', is much read to this day. It describes the way to raise the soul to God as if on a ladder. Before his death, John appointed his own brother, George, to the abbacy, but George began to grieve greatly at the approaching parting with John. Then John said that, if he were found worthy to stand close to God in the next world, he would pray that George be taken up to heaven in the same year. And so it came to pass. After ten months, George also fell asleep and departed to take his place among heaven's citizens alongside his brother John.
Commemoration of an Uncondemning Monk
This monk died joyfully because he had never in his life condemned anyone. He was lazy, careless, disinclined to prayer, but throughout his entire life he had never judged anyone. And when he lay dying, he was full of joy. The brethren asked him how he could die so joyfully with all his sins, and he replied: 'I have just seen the angels, and they showed me a page with all my many sins. I said to them: "The Lord said: 'Judge not, that ye be not judged.' I have never judged anyone and I hope in the mercy of God, that He will not judge me." And the angels tore up the sheet of paper.' Hearing this, the monks wondered at it and learned from it.
St. Eubula, mother of St. Panteleimon (304)
Saint Eubola, Mother of the GreatMartyr Panteleimon (Comm. 27 July), died peacefully in about the year 303 before the martyrdom of her son.
The Holy Prophet Joad came from Samaria and prophesied during the X Century before the Birth of Christ. It gives an account about him in the 13th Chapter of Book 3 of Kings. The prophet was sent by the Lord from Judea to Bethel to denounce the Israelite king Jereboam for polluting his nation with idol-worship. The Lord commanded the prophet: "There neither eat bread nor drink water, nor return upon thine path, whereof thou comest" (3 Kings 13: 9). The prophet Joad appeared to king Jereboam and prophesied to him concerning the wrath of the Lord. When the king tried to give a signal with his hand to seize hold of the prophet, his hand suddenly became withered. The king entreated the prophet to pray to the Lord for the healing of his hand, and through the prayer he received healing. Having turned back, the prophet Joad disobeyed the command given him by the Lord, and he tasted of the food put before him by the false-prophet Emba. Because of this the prophet Joad was killed by a lion, but his body remained untouched and was buried near the abode of the false-prophet who led him astray.
Hieromartyr Zacharias, bishop of Corinth (1684)
PriestMartyr Zacharias, Bishop of Corinth, suffered for Christ under the Turks in 1684. The Turk-mussulmans accused him of secret correspondence with the Franks (French), whom the saint supposedly would have appealed to and promised to aid them seize the city. The moslems in a rage fell upon the Christian bishop and, shackled in chains and subjected to beatings, they led him to trial. The judge without interrogation demanded that Sainted Zacharias accept Islam and, when he heard the negative answer of the bishop, he gave orders for him to be beaten without mercy...
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