The monk John (born Gérard Gascuel) was born in 1947 in Cevennes, France. He studied photography in Paris (École Louis Lumière) and then worked as an artistic photographer for famous fashion magazines and newspapers, as well as in advertising. His personal photography exhibitions were hosted in Paris, in museums (Museum of Photography) and in Art Festivals abroad (Japan, Canada, USA etc). In 1983, during a journalistic mission in Greece, he met and learned about Orthodox monasticism. He became a monk on Mount Athos and then transferred to the Monastery of Agios Savvas, in the Judean desert, where he lived for many years next to his Elder, Father Seraphim.
In 1993 he founded the Brotherhood of Saint Martin, an association of Christian artists, which today has close to 700 members, while in 1996 he settled in Cevennes, southern France, where he founded the Hermitage of Saint Faith, a place of prayer and departure. Today the magazine Art sacré is published from the Skete of Agia Pisti, while Fr. Ioannis is the author of many works: Hommes de Lumière, Fils de lumière, Pèlerinage au Mont Athos, J'ai soif d'une eau de vie, L'amour en question, Insaissable fraternité, Le jardin de la foi.