Our Holy Father Daniel the Stylite
Born in the village of Maroutha, near the city of Samosata in Mesopotamia, of Christian parents, Elias and Martha, he was a gift of God through the tearful prayers of his mother, who was barren, and was dedicated to God in his youth. He embraced the monastic state at the age of twelve and visited Simeon Stylites, receiving his blessing. Desirous of solitude, Daniel left his monastery and withdrew to an abandoned pagan temple on the shore of the Black Sea. He endured many assaults from demons, but overcame them all by prayer, endurance and the sign of the Cross. After that, he climbed up onto a pillar, where he remained till his death, enduring with equanimity both heat and cold, and attacks from both men and demons. Many disciples gathered around his pillar, and he led them towards eternal life by his example and his words. God rewarded His devoted servant with great grace in this life, and he worked many miracles of help to men, and foretold future events. People came to his pillar from all parts, seeking help and advice from the saint of God. Kings and patriarchs came to him, as well as simple folk. The Emperor Leo the Great used to bring his foreign guests, princes and nobles, and show them Daniel on his pillar: "Here is the wonder of my empire!" Daniel foretold the day of his own death, taught his disciples as a father would his children, and took leave of them. At the time of his death, his disciples saw angels, prophets, apostles and martyrs around the pillar. Having lived in asceticism for eighty years, this angelic man entered into rest, and into the Kingdom of Christ, in 489.
Our Holy Father Luke the Stylite
Luke lived in Constantinople during the reign of the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. He fought as a soldier in the war against the Bulgars and witnessed the slaughter of many thousands, but he himself emerged from the war alive and unharmed. Seeing the finger of God in his deliverance, he scorned all the vanity of this world, took himself off to a pillar near Chalcedon and there spent forty-five years in asceticism, cleansing his soul from every sinful thought and desire. He entered into rest after a life pleasing to God, some time between 970 and 980, and went to the better life.
Our Holy Father Nikon the Withered
He was enslaved by the Tartars as a monk of the Kiev Caves, and spent three years in captivity, fettered, tortured and abused. When his kinsmen brought the money to ransom him from his owner, he refused, saying: "If the Lord had wanted me to be free, He would not have given me into the hands of these lawless men." Once he told his owner that Christ would free him in three days. The Tartar thought that this meant that his slave was going to run away, so he cut his tendons below the knee. On the third day, though, Nikon was indeed carried by invisible hands to Kiev. After a time, the Tartar came to Kiev and recognised his former slave. He repented and was baptised, and the former owner became the servant and disciple of his erstwhile slave. Nikon, called the Withered because of the great emaciation of his body, was a great visionary and wonderworker. He entered peacefully into rest in the Lord on December 11th, 1101.
The Holy Martyr Meirax
An Egyptian, he was tricked by the Mohammedan Emir into accepting Islam. He later repented, went into a mosque bearing a cross, declared himself a Christian and called upon the Moslems to forsake their errors and turn to the Truth. He was tortured and martyred in about 640.
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