John the Dwarf was a native of Egypt who lived around 339 AD – 405 AD.
At the young age of eighteen he was inspired to retire to the desert of Skeet where he became a disciple of an old hermit, Aba Pemouah.
John the Dwarf is best known for his obedience. The most famous story about his obedience is that one day Aba Pemouah gave Abba John a piece of dry wood and ordered him to plant and water it. John obeyed and went on watering it twice a day even though the water was about twelve miles from where they lived. After three years, the piece of wood sprouted and grew into a fruitful tree. Aba Pemouah took some of this tree’s fruits and went around to all the elder monks, saying “take, eat from the fruit of obedience”.
John believed that the perfection of a monk consists in his keeping to his cell, watching constantly over himself and having God continually present to his mind.
When the Berbers invaded Scetes around 395 AD, John fled the Nitrian Desert and went to live on Mount Colzim, near the present city of Suez, where he lived out his final years.