Book of Saints – John the Silent


(Silentiarius) (May 13) (Saint) Bishop (6th century) Born at Nicopolis In Armenia (A.D. 454) and of illustrious descent, after the death of his parents, he built a church and monastery in his native city and, with some fervent companions, gave himself utterly up to a life of prayer and penance. After ten years he was made Bishop of Colonia in Armenia, where for nine years he showed himself a shining example to his people. He then resigned his Bishopric, and quietly sought the Laura or monastery of Saint Sabbas, near Jerusalem. He succeeded in concealing the fact that he was a Bishop; and Saint Sabbas employed him as a labourer, promoting him later to the offices of guest-master and house steward. When some time later still, Saint Sabbas proposed that the monk John should be ordained priest, the Saint was compelled to confide to the Patriarch of Jerusalem that he was already a Bishop. This Saint John the Silent is one of the Fathers of the Desert to whom ancient writers attribute a longevity far surpassing that of average man. We are told that Saint John the Silent survived until A.D. 558, when he would have attained the age of one hundred and four.

MLA Citation

  • Monks of Ramsgate. “John the Silent”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 October 2013. Web. 19 October 2021. <>