The Monk John the Short-Statured (Kolobos)
Commemorated on November 9
Monk John the Short-Statured (Kolobos) asceticised in the Egyptian
wilderness in the V Century in the monastery of the Monk Pimen the Great (Comm.
27 August). From the name of this monastery, monastic wilderness monasteries
began to be called "sketes", in which monks pursued asceticism in
strict solitude and silence. The Monk John was a gentle, humble and work-loving
monk. It was to this monastery that the young John came with his brother
Daniel. At first John asceticised without spiritual guidance, but the Lord
brought him to his senses, in that strict ascetic deeds need to be done under
the observation of an elder (starets) experienced in the spiritual life. One
time the Monk John told his brother that he did not want to be concerned about
clothing and food, and that he wished to live like the Angels. Having removed
his clothing, he went out from the cell. At night it was very cold, and the
scantily-clad John soon began to tap on the door of the cell. Daniel did not
immediately remind his brother the saying that an Angel is not concerned about
its body. The Monk John realised, that he relied too much on himself and
bitterly he wept. After being brought to his senses the Monk John went to the
Monk Pimen, known for his firm and steadfast will, and having asked guidance,
he promised to be obedient in all things. Testing the patience of the young
monk, Saint Pimen gave him an unusual obedience. For three years the Monk John
carried water and poured it on a dried-up tree, and it became covered with
leaves and gave abundant fruit, and was given the name "the tree of
obedience". The Monk John afterwards himself became a guide of many people
on the way of salvation, among which were the Monk Arsenios the Great (Comm. 8 May)
and Blessed Taisia (Comm. 10 May).
Saint John was the author of the Life of the Monk Paisias the Great (Comm. 19 June).
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.