Saint Stephen the New Light was born at Constantinople in 838 and received a fine education. Under Patriarch Methodius, Stephen received monastic tonsure and shut himself in a cell attached to the church of St Peter in Constantinople. Later he went into seclusion, and over fifty years he constantly increased his ascetic efforts.

Toward the end of his life the saint acquired great grace from the Lord, shining in the constellation of the saints like the ancient ascetics of the Orthodox Church, so that he came to be called the "New Light." According to the Prologue, he died in the year 912 and was buried in the church of St Antipas.