Saint Symeon Stylites, the Elder

Feast Day: September 1st

The Life of Saint Symeon Stylites: After trying various kinds of Ascetical practices, both in the Monastery and then in the wilderness, he began standing on pillars of progressively greater height, and heroically persevered in this for more than forty years; the greater part of this time he spent standing upright…



Apolytikion: Thou becamest a pillar of patience and didst emulate the Forefathers, O righteous one: Job in his sufferings, Joseph in temptations, and the life of the bodiless while in the body, O Symeon, our righteous Father, intercede with Christ God that our Souls be saved.

Kontakion: Thou soughtest the heights, though parted not from things below; thy pillar became a chariot of fire for thee. Thou becamest thereby a true companion of the Angelic Host; and together with them, O Saint, thou ceaselessly Prayest Christ God for us all.

Hymn of Praise, by Saint Nikolai Velimirovich: Simeon the Stylite, the first of the pillar-dwellers. An illuminated elder, with the radiance of an immortal, bound himself to the pillar as a willing sacrifice; He was fully alive to Heaven, and dead to the Earth. Fasting and Prayer and all-night vigils- By this hard path he sought Salvation. Early one morning, his mother came by: O Son, come down and let your mother see you!” Thus she spoke, but Simeon was silent. The mother repeated her plea again and again…. Simeon at last replied to his mother: I am in the service of the Heavenly King. This life is a struggle and a preparation. There is no time for empty conversation here. But go, Mother, and choose the pure path- Take care for your Soul and live according to Christ! After the present struggle is the next world; If Christ finds us worthy, you will see your son there, mother, and your son will delight in his mother’s face.”

In the Icon below, the body is his mother Saint Martha (July 4th).

“On two occasions his mother Martha came to see him, but he refused to receive her, saying from atop the pillar: Do not disturb me now, my mother. If we become worthy, then we’ll see each other in the next world.”