Daniel the Stylite

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St Daniel the Stylite
Honored in

Eastern Orthodoxy Eastern Catholic Churches

Roman Catholic Church
Feast December 11

Saint Daniel the Stylite (c. 409 – 493) is a saint of the Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic Churches. He was born in a village by the name of Maratha in upper Mesopotamia near Samosata, in today what is now a region of Turkey. He entered a monastery at the age of twelve and lived there until he was thirty-eight. During a voyage he made with his abbot to Antioch, he passed by Tellnesin and received the benediction and encouragement of St. Simeon Stylites. Then he visited the holy places, stayed in various convents, and retired in 451 into the ruins of a pagan temple.

He established his pillar four miles north of Constantinople. The owner of the soil where he placed his pillar, who had not been consulted, appealed to the emperor and the patriarch Gennadius of Constantinople. Gennadius proposed to dislodge him, but in some way was deterred. Gennadius ordained him a priest against his will, standing at the foot of his pillar. When the ceremony was over the patriarch administered the Eucharist by means of a ladder, which Daniel had ordered to be brought. Gennadius then received the Eucharist from Daniel. Daniel lived on the pillar for 33 years. By continually standing, his feet were covered with sores and ulcers: the winds of Thrace sometimes stripped him of his scanty clothing.[1]

He was visited by both the Emperor Leo I the Thracian and the Emperor Zeno. As a theologian, he came out against monophysitism.

The following is his prayer before he began his life on the pillar:
"I yield Thee glory, Jesus Christ my God, for all the blessings which Thou hast heaped upon me, and for the grace which Thou hast given me that I should embrace this manner of life. But Thou knowest that in ascending this pillar, I lean on Thee alone, and that to Thee alone I look for the happy issue of mine undertaking. Accept, then, my object: strengthen me that I finish this painful course: give me grace to end it in holiness." [2]

The following is the advice he gave to his disciples just before his death:
"Hold fast humility, practice obedience, exercise hospitality, keep the fasts, observe the vigils, love poverty, and above all maintain charity, which is the first and great commandment; keep closely bound to all that regards piety, avoid the tares of the heretics. Separate never from the Church your Mother; if you do these things your righteousness shall be perfect."[3]

Saint Daniel is commemorated 11 December on the liturgical calendars of the Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vita S. Daniel, ap. Surium, ad diem ii. decemb. cap. xli., xlii., xliii.
  2. ^ Cellier, x. 344, 403, 485
  3. ^ Robertson, Christian History ii. 41-3, 274

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