Saint John Climacus

detail of a painting of monks of the Ladder of Divine Ascent as described in the vision of Saint John Climacus, the 30 rungs symbolizing Saint John's 30 virtues; latter 12th century, artist unknown; Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai, Egypt; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • John of the Ladder
  • John Scholasticus
  • John the Sinaita



Well educated and came to adulthood in a intellectual environment. Monk on Mount Sinai at age 16. Hermit in various places in the Arabian Desert. Abbot at Mount Sinai at age 75. Just before his death he resigned his position to return to his solitary life. Ascetical writer whose works have for 15 centuries influenced those seeking the holy life.



  • between 605 and 649 on Mount Sinai of natural causes




A chaste man is completely oblivious to the difference between bodies. The rule and limit of absolute chastity is to have the same feelings regarding animate and inanimate beings, rational and irrational. Saint John Climacus

As it is an impossibility, to have our eyes raised towards Heaven and fixed on the earth at the same time, so is it impossible that a person who is attached to the things of earth should love those of Heaven. Saint John Climacus

MLA Citation

  • “Saint John Climacus“. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 May 2020. Web. 26 February 2021. <>