Icon of St. John the Hermit (17th c.) – S380


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Church Feast Day 1



Egg Tempera


St. John the Theologian Monastery, Patmos, Greece


17th c. (Early)


St. John was from Egypt, and, after becoming a monk, he traveled with 35 other ascetic monks to Cyprus, where they lived a strict life of fasting and prayer.  Because of their holiness, in time another 39 Cypriot men joined their number and became fellow strugglers with them.  They all traveled to Attaleia (Antalya  in present day Turkey) to settle there, where they were also joined with another 24 men from that region to become 99 ascetic fathers.

After some time and much prayer as to where God wished them to live out the remainer of their monastic life in seclusion and more anonymity, they sailed to Crete.  St. John joined them on the last part of this journey by miraculously traveling on the sea standing on his tunic.  There these men lived in caves near the village of Azogyres, later known as the Monastery of the Holy Fathers.  They all had vowed that they would die at the same time.  St. John desired to live as a hermit, and so moved alone after some time to a more distant cave in Akrotiri near Chania.  When he was 89, and old in his God-pleasing life, he was killed mistakenly by a hunter.  Amazingly, all of his fellow ascetics died far away on the same day.