Saints and Feasts: Saint Alypius the Stylite of Adrianopolis
Saint Alypius the Stylite was born in the city of Adrianopolis in Paphlagonia. His mother, a Christian, was widowed early, and she sent her son to be educated by Bishop Theodore. She distributed her substance to the poor, then began to live an ascetic life near the church as a deaconess.
St Alypius, from 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. Once, when St Alypius was accompanying his bishop to Constantinople, the holy Martyr Euphemia (September 16) appeared to him in a vision, summoning St Alypius to return to Adrianopolis and found a church in her name.
With contributions offered by believers in Adrianopolis, St Alypius did build a church in the name of the holy Martyr Euphemia, on the site of a dilapidated pagan temple infested by legions of devils. Beside the church, under the open sky, the saint erected a pillar over a pagan tomb. For fifty-three years St Alypius struggled upon the pillar, praying to God and teaching those who came to him.
The demons which infested the pagan cemetery fell upon the ascetic by night and pelted him with stones. St Alypius, wanted nothing to stand in the way of the attacks of the spirits of darkness, then even took down the boards that served him as a roof, protecting him from the rain and wind. In the face of the saint’s conquering steadfastness, the demons fled the place forever, which had been sanctified by his deed of voluntary martyrdom.
Fourteen years before his death, St Alypius was no longer able to stand. He was compelled to lie on his side because of the weakness of his legs, and endured grievous sufferings with humble gratitude. Around the saint’s pillar two monasteries sprang up: a men’s monastery on the one side, and a women’s monastery on the other. St Alypius introduced strict monastic rules for both monasteries and he directed both monasteries until his death. St Alypius reposed in the year 640, at age 118. The body of the venerable stylite was buried in the church he founded in honor of the holy Martyr Euphemia. The relics of the saint of God healed many of those who came in faith.
Troparion — Tone 1
You were a pillar of patient endurance, / having having imitated the forefathers, O Venerable One: / Job in suffering, and Joseph in temptations. / You lived like the Bodiless Ones while yet in the flesh, O Alypius, our Father. / Beseech Beseech Christ God that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion — Tone 8
The Church glorifies and praises you today, Alypius, / as a perfect example of virtue and the boast of ascetics. / Through your prayers, grant remission of sins to all who venerate your life and your struggles.