Our Holy Father Stephen the New Light.

December 7

From the Prologue

This godly man was born and brought up in Constantinople in the house of his parents Zacharias and Theophano, his father being a priest at the Great Church in the time of Patriarch Methodius. When she was carrying him in her womb, his mother fed only on bread and water, and, when the child was born, a cross of light shone on his breast. Because of this, and because of his pure and godly way of life, he is named 'the New Light'. At the age of eighteen, Stephen shut himself up in a cell attached to the church of St Peter the Apostle, and devoted himself to prayer and fasting. Once St Peter appeared to him, and said: 'Peace be to thee, my child; thou hast made a good beginning. May the Lord strengthen thee.' After that, he spent many years in a cell by the church of the holy martyr Antipas. This saint also appeared to him, encouraging him: 'Know that I will not abandon thee.' Stephen took greater and greater labours upon himself. He ate only twice a week, and that unsalted cabbage. In all, this holy man spent fifty-five years in asceticism for the sake of the kingdom of Christ, and went to his rest in the Lord in 879, at the age of seventy-three.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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