The Monk John the Hermit

Commemorated on June 19

      The Monk John the Hermit practised asceticism in Palestine. He passed his days in fasting and prayer in a cave not far from Jerusalem. The un-covetous ascetic had only an image of the MostHoly Mother of God, before which always was lighted a lampada. The holy elder often visited the holy places of Jerusalem, and Mount Sinai, and he went to pray at the grave-sites of the holy martyrs and ascetics. In departing, the monk left the lampada burning before the image of the Queen of Heaven and he asked a blessing for the journey. Having returned after a month or even after six months, the elder found the lampada burning and filled with oil. One time he happened to go on a narrow trail, with two sides overgrown with thickets, such that it was impossible for two persons on foot to pass by each other. Towards the monk came a lion. The beast stood up on its hind legs and freed the way for the saint.
      Once there came a monk to the cave to Saint John, and not detecting even the vital necessities for life, he asked the abba why he lived in such poverty. To this the holy elder answered that his cave contained spiritual riches more dear than earthly blessings.
      The Monk John the Hermit expired in the VI Cent. in extreme old age and was enumerated by the Church to the choir of the saints.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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