Feast Day: January 15th
The Life of Saint John the Hut-Dweller: He asked his parents for a Gospel so that he might study the words of Christ. John’s parents hired a calligrapher to copy the text, and had the volume bound in a golden cover studded with gems. John read the Gospel constantly, delighting in the Saviour’s words…
Apolytikion: From your early youth, you longed with fervour for the things of the Lord. Leaving the world and its pleasures, you became an example of monastic life. Most blessed John, you built your hut at the door of your parents’ house and overcame the devil’s guiles. Therefore Christ Himself has worthily glorified you.
Kontakion: Longing for poverty in imitation of Christ, you abandoned your parents’ wealth, wise Father John; grasping the Gospel in your hands, you followed Christ God, unceasingly Praying for us all.
Saint John loved to Pray and read Spiritual books, and he wanted to become a Monk. Saint John asked his parents for a Gospel so he could study the Words of Christ, and they commissioned a Gospel for him.
Saint John secretly left the home of his parents and went to live in a Monastery. Saint John was Tonsured a Monk and lived a great spiritual life cultivating Virtues and Prayer. However, after six years Saint John began struggling with the memory of his parents, so he received a Blessing to live close to them, in a hut in their backyard, not revealing his identity to them.
Three days before his Blessed Repose, Saint John gave the Holy Gospel, which he always kept with him, to his mother saying, “May this console you in this life, and guide you to the next life.” When Saint John’s parents recognised the Holy Gospel as the one they gave their son, he revealed himself to them, and they all embraced with tears of joy and love.
Saint John Reposed in peace at the age of 24 years old. His parents built a Church and a hostel to take care of strangers.
As a young child, Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia loved and strove to imitate the life of Saint John the Hut-Dweller.
“There, where I shepherded the animals, I slowly read, word by word, the life of Saint John the Hut-dweller and I loved Saint John very much. I said a lot of prayers, like the young child that I was, twelve or fifteen years old, I don’t remember too well. I wanted to follow his example… I always made the effort to Pray, to read the Hymns of the Church, the Holy Scriptures and the Lives of the Saints. May you do the same. I tried, by the Grace of God, to approach God and may you also do the same.”
Saint John the Hut-Dweller in an Icon with Saint Paul of Thebes.
Saint John in an Icon with Saint Seraphim of Sarov.