Science of the Saints, 9-XII (26 Nov.), Our Venerable Father Alypius the Stylite.


The Monk Alypius the Pillar-Dweller was born in the city of Adrianopolis in Paphlagonia. His mother, a Christian, early on became a widow, and she gave over her son for education to bishop Theodore, while she herself, having distributed her substance to the poor, began to asceticise nearby the church and was deigned worthy of the vocation of deaconess.

Saint Alypius from the time of his early years wanted to devote his life to God and yearned for the solitary life, although bishop Theodore would not give him permission to do so. One time, when Saint Alypius was accompanying his Vladyka to Constantinople, the holy Martyress Euthymia appeared to him in a vision, summoning Saint Alypius to return to Adrianopolis and found a church in her name. On the means offered by believers in Adrianopolis, Saint Alypius did build a church in the name of the holy Martyress Euthymia, on the spot of a dilapidated pagan temple, infested by legions of devils. Alongside the church, and under the open sky, atop a pagan tomb the saint erected a pillar. For fifty-three years the Monk Alypius asceticised upon the pillar, praying to God and teaching the many that came to him. The demons, which infested the pagan cemetery, by night fell upon the ascetic and pelted him with stones. Saint Alypius, wanting nothing to stand in the way of the attacks of the spirits of darkness, then even destroyed the light lean-to which protected him from the rain and wind. In face of the conquering steadfastness of the saint, the demons quit this place forever, which had been sanctified by his deed of voluntary martyrdom. A mere 14 years before his death Saint Alypius was no longer able to stand and he was compelled through the weakness of his legs to lay upon his side, enduring grievous sufferings with humble thankfulness. Around the pillar of the monk gradually there arose two monasteries: on the one side – a men’s monastery, and on the other – a women’s monastery. The Monk Alypius introduced for both monasteries strict monastic rules and until his death he directed both monasteries. The monk died in the year 640, at age 118. The body of the venerable pillar-dweller was buried in the church founded by him in honour of the holy Martyress Euthymia. The relics of the saint of God healed many that came in faith.

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