Orthodox Icon of Saint John of Climacus, of the Ladder (2).
Commemorated March 30th.
Saint John was born at 523 in a wealthy and very religious family of Syria. He had every opportunity to be well educated, but he prefered instead of studies prayer and theological readings. At the age of sixteen, he went in Saint Catherine's Monastery in Mount Sinai. Four years after he was tonsured as a monk by his elder Fr. Martyrius.
After the death of the Abbot of the Monastery, he was elected by the monks of the Monastery as the new Abbot of St. Catherine's. Few years after, he decided to go and live a solitary life, in the desert. He spent forty years there in silence, fasting, prayer and tears of repentance. While he was in solitude, the Abbot of Raithu Monastery asked him to write something spiritual to help the monks that lived in his Monastery. So Saint John wrote the "Ladder of ascetic life." From this he gets his title. This book is read each Letnen period in Orthodox monastieries.