Our Holy Father Alypius the Stylite.

17

From the Prologue

Born in Hadrianopolis, a city in Paphlagonia, he was from his youth dedicated to the service of God. As a deacon, he served in the church in that city with Bishop Theodore. But, desiring a solitary life of prayer and meditation, Alypius withdrew to a Greek cemetery outside the city, from which people fled as from a place of terror, as demonic visions had been seen there. Here he erected a Cross, and built a church in honour of St Euphemia, who had appeared to him in a dream. Near the church, he built a high pillar, climbed up onto it and spent fifty-three years there in fasting and prayer. Neither the mockery of men nor the evil demons could drive him away or shake his purpose. This saint endured endless assaults from the demons. They not only tried to terrify him with demonic apparitions, but also stoned him and gave him no peace day nor night for a long time. But Alypius courageously defended himself against this diabolical power with the sign of the Cross and the name of Jesus. Finally, the vanquished demons left him and fled, and men began to revere him and to come to him for his prayers, comfort, teaching and healing. Two monasteries were built beside his pillar, on one side for men and on the other for women. His mother and sisters lived in the women's monastery. St Alypius guided the monks and nuns from his pillar by word and example, and shone like the sun in the sky for them all, showing them the way of salvation. This man of God had such grace that he was often bathed in heavenly light, and a pillar of this light stretched above him to heaven. Alypius was a great and mighty wonderworker, both in his lifetime and after his death. Living for a hundred years, he entered into rest in the year 640, in the time of Emperor Heraclius. Of his holy relics, the head is preserved in the monastery of Koutloumousiou on the Holy Mountain.

NAME:Our Holy Father James the Solitary.

A Syrian, he was a disciple of St Maron (Feb. 14th) and a contemporary of St Simeon Stylites. He lived in asceticism under the open sky and fed on soaked lentils. He performed great wonders, even raising the dead in the name of Christ. The Emperor Leo asked him for his thoughts on the Council of Chalcedon. He entered peacefully into rest in the year 457.

NAME:Our Holy Father Stylianus.

From Paphlagonia, he was a fellow-countryman and contemporary of St Alypius. He had a great love for the Lord Jesus and, because of this, gave himself to strict asceticism. He rejected all things, only to have an undivided love for his Lord. At the time of his death, an angel appeared to take his soul, and his face became radiant like the sun. He was a great wonderworker both before and after his death, and was of special help to sick children and childless parents.

NAME:Our Holy Father Nikon, the Preacher of Repentance.

He was born in Armenia. Drawn by the Lord's words: 'He who forsakes father or mother will receive an hundredfold, and inherit eternal life' (Matt. 19:29), Nikon indeed left all for the sake of Christ and went to a monastery, where he became a monk. When he had become perfected in all the virtues, he left the monastery and went to preach the Gospel to the people. He incessantly cried: 'Repent!', and thus became known as 'the Preacher of Repentance'. As a preacher, he covered the whole of Anatolia and the Peloponnese, performing many wonders in the name of Christ. He went peacefully to his beloved Lord in Sparta in 998.

NAME:St Innocent of Irkiatsk.

He died in 1731, and his wonderworking relics were discovered in 1804.

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





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