St. John Climacus
St. John Climacus (ca. 579 - 649) was a great monk and ascetic best known for being the abbot of the historic monastery at Mount Sinai, where Moses encountered God. Not much is known about his family origins and youth. However, he embraced the monastic life ascetical life when a teenager. Experienced both in the solitary life of the hermit and in the communal life of cenobitic monasticism, he was appointed Abbot of the Monastery at Mount Sinai and wrote a book containing thirty homilies on virtue. Each homily deals with one virtue, and progressing from those that deal with holy and righteous activity (praxis) unto those that deal with divine vision (theoria), they raise a man up as though by means of steps unto the height of Heaven. For this cause his work is called "The Ladder of Divine Ascent." The day he was made Abbot of Sinai, the Prophet Moses was seen giving commands to those who served at table. Saint John reposed in 603, at eighty years of age. He wrote a number of instructive books, the most famous of which is The Ladder of Divine Ascent. His feast day in the Orthodox Church is celebrated on March 30.