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The Monastery of Saint John in the Wilderness is a Franciscan Catholic monastery commemorating the childhood wanderings of John the Baptist in the area. Luke tells us in the scriptures that John "grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel" (Luke 1:80). Tradition identifies the deserted place where Saint John grew up as the hermitage of Saint John in the Desert, also known as 'Ain el-Habis (spring of the hermit.)  The site is located in the center of the Judean hills, about 1.8 miles from Ein Karem, St. John’s birthplace, which is itself just 4.5 miles west of Jerusalem.