October 7, 2022

The Holy Ninety-Nine Fathers of Crete including Venerable John the Hermit

who practiced asceticism on the island of Crete

Commemorated on October 7th

By St. Justin Popovich
THESE ninety-nine venerable fathers, among whom the most famous was John the Hermit, practiced asceticism and perfected themselves on the island of Crete, but their origin was from various regions. Venerable John was from Egypt and with him thirty-five other fathers; thirty-nine fathers were from the island of Cyprus, and the other twenty-four from Attaleia. Traveling by ship to the island of Crete, they were miraculously saved from a storm and landed on the neighboring island of Gavdos, and from there they came to Crete. But John the Hermit lagged behind them, who then came across the sea standing on his tunic, which, after praying to God, he spread on the water and thus by the power of God he also sailed to Crete.

Having found lonely and desolate places in Crete, these venerable men wandered in the mountains and caves in various ways pleasing to God. John the Hermit lived separately from them. Coming out of his cave one day, he was shot by a hunter, who thought it was some kind of beast; and so he reposed in the Lord. The other ascetics, having prayed to God, all reposed on the same day. (They lived before the 16th century). [1]


[1] The head of one of these venerables, according to the tradition of John the Hermit, is located on the island of Chios and exudes a wonderful sweet fragrance.

From Lives of the Saints for October.