In a marvelous way, from early Christian times to the present day, prayer and spiritual dedication have existed at Sinai without interruption. This gives a special aura to the monastery, and justifies its significance as a destination for pilgrims second in importance only to Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
But the Sinai tradition is not confined to the prayer and spiritual dedication of the monks, nor does it constitute a spiritual Ark only for the Christian world. It has also won the respect of Jews and Moslems. The tradition of Sinai is founded on the early Christian heritage which looks for union with the Triune God, without at the same time losing the uniqueness of each individual person. Prayer and spiritual dedication are not aimed solely at the purification of the individual, but they invoke the blessing of all peoples everywhere. The Orthodox monastic tradition of Sinai has promoted the cultivation of personal freedom, morality, and love, without any self-seeking or hypocrisy, and thus regarded each individual as created in the image of God. It was in this desert that God manifested himself, and revealed his name.
The Sinai monastery ministers to all who come to the site as pilgrims, seeking spiritual consolation and the increase of faith. The heritage of the monastery is respected not only throughout the Christian world, but also throughout the Moslem world as well. Saint John Climacus, Abbot of Sinai in the seventh century, has recorded with spiritual insight all the steps leading to spiritual perfection. The venerable Symeon Pentaglossos, in the early eleventh century, took relics of Saint Catherine to the West, and has himself been venerated as a saint. Nilus, Anastasius, Anastasius, Philotheus, Hesychius, through their ascetical and theological writings, have shown the way to spiritual sanctification, while Gregory of Sinai became the great exponent of noetic prayer in Byzantium, and transmitted these traditions to the Slavic peoples.