This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 30 -- Feast of Saint John Climacus

12th C. illustration of Scala Paradisi
John was a seventh century monk, living for many year as a hermit but eventually becoming abbot of the Monastery of Saint Catherine in the Sinai.  His reputation for intellect and holiness made him a big enough deal that Pope Gregory the Great asked to be remembered in John's prayers.  [By the way, Pope Francis asked that we pray for him.  If you haven't done that yet, please take care of it soon.] Pope Gregory also sent John some money to maintain a hospital for pilgrims in the Sinai. 

A neighboring igumen (abbot) asked John for some written instructions about the holy life.  John made thirty chapters, or steps as he called them; thirty represented the age of Jesus when he began his ministry.  The book is called in Latin Scala Paradisi, usually translated The Ladder of Divine Ascent, but also properly called The Stairway to Heaven.  Somehow in the middle of the desert, sometime in the seventh century, the book hit its tipping point and became a runaway bestseller. 

Spoiler Alert:  the highest step on the scala paradisi, beyond even prayer, is love.

"... And she's buying the Scala Paradisi." 

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