On this day in the Holy Orthodox Church, the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, we make remembrance of our godly father, John, the author of The Ladder of Divine Ascent (or Climacus).
The Church also commemorates him on March 30 when he reposed. The celebration of his Feast on this day probably arose from the custom prevalent in the honorable monasteries of starting the Great Lent with the reading of his book of sermons, in which John describes the method of elevating the soul to God, as ascending a ladder. John of the Ladder came to Mount Sinai as a 16-year-old and remained there, first as a novice under obedience, and afterwards as a recluse, and finally as abbot of Sinai until his eightieth year. One time, his disciple, Moses, fell asleep one day under the shade of a large stone. John, in prayer in his cell, saw that his disciple was in danger and prayed to God for him. Later on, when Moses returned, he fell on his knees and gave thanks to his spiritual father for saving him from certain death. He related how, in a dream, he heard John calling him and he jumped up and, at that moment, the stone tumbled. Had he not jumped, the stone would have crushed him. John Climacus died around the year 563 A.D.
Through his intercessions, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon us. Amen.