St John the Solitary of Jerusalem

Saint John the Hermit was an ascetic in Palestine. He passed his days in fasting and prayer in a cave near Jerusalem. The uncovetous ascetic had only an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, before which a lampada was always lit.

The holy Elder often visited the holy places of Jerusalem, and Mount Sinai, and he went to pray at the graves of the holy martyrs and ascetics. Whenever he went out, the saint left the lampada burning before the icon of the Queen of Heaven and he asked Her blessing for the journey. When he returned after a month, or even after six months, the Elder found the lampada burning and filled with oil.

Once, he happened to go on a narrow trail, with two sides so overgrown with bushes, that it was impossible for two people on foot to pass each other. Suddenly, the saint saw a lion coming toward him. The beast stood up on its hind legs and cleared the way for the saint.

Once, a monk came to the cave to visit St John. Since he did not notice even the bare necessities, he asked Abba John why he lived in such poverty. The holy Elder said that his cave contained spiritual riches greater than any earthly treasures.

St John the Hermit reposed in the sixth century in extreme old age, and was numbered with the saints.