Saint Venerable Simeon Stylites (†459)
St. Venerable Simeon Stylites is famous ancient Christian hermit who was glorified for inconceivable ascetic vows. Famous Christian historians mentioned about him and that is why the story of his life became known.
Simeon was born in 356 (according to other data in 390) in Asia Minor, Cilicia province, on the border with Syria. For 18 years he was a shepherd and later went to the monastery. Young man was not received in the cloister and he remained to stand ahead the gates, waiting for enter. He lived among brotherhood only for two years, and went to more severe community. But Hegumen of that monastery decided to let him go, because he has seen how violent Simeon is to his body.
Then Simeon settled down on the bottom of dried-up lake. Someone tried to bring him back to monastery, but Simeon went to the outskirts of Antioch and primarily stayed in empty house, and then on the mount. He enclosed his hermit cell by the fence, and made a chain, making himself bound to the fence by the leg.
Leter monk Simeon became famous not only as strict ascetic, but also as spiritual father. He was respected among other nations – Persians, Medes, Saracens, Ethiopians, Iberians and Scythians. Emperors sent him a letters about their deeds.
In 423 Simeon created a new type of asceticism – a stylite. He found a pillar and fastened it hard on the ground. It was surrounded by fence and at the top of pillar was a small platform where he could stand or sit. Different sources bring different information about height of the pillar: from 16 to 20 meters.
From the pillar Simeon delivered sermons and spoke to people who came to him. He spent almost 40 years on that platform, continually praying. He made more than 2 000 bows through the day, and on the feast he stood from dawn to sunset with open arms. People, who came to venerate the honored ascetic, have brought a simple food to him.
It is known that Byzantine Emperor Marcian has visited the hermit in secret. Simeon advised to him to convoke Ecumenical Council of 451.
St. Venerable Simeon reposed in God in 459.