Today is the feast day of Venerable Alypius Stolpnik

Photo: Venerable Alipij Stolpnik

He was born in Adrianople, a Paphlagonian city. From a young age he was dedicated to the service of God. He served as a deacon in the church of Bishop Theodore in that city. But longing for a solitary life, prayer and theology, Alipius withdrew to a Hellenic cemetery outside the city, from which, due to frequent demonic apparitions, people fled as if in fear. There he nailed a cross and built a temple in honor of St. Euphemia, who appeared to him in a dream. He erected a tall pillar near the temple, climbed it, and spent fifty-three years there fasting and praying. Neither the ridicule of the people nor the malice of the demons could drive him away or sway him in his intention. Especially from the demons this saint suffered innumerable torments. Not only did they intimidate him with various apparitions but they also threw stones at him, not giving him peace day or night for a long time. But Alipius masculinely distanced himself from the demonic power with the sign of the cross and the name of Jesus. Eventually the demons left him defeated, and the people began to respect him and come to him asking for his prayers, consolation, teachings and healings. Two monasteries were erected around his pillar: male on one side and female on the other. His mother and sister lived in the convent. Saint Alipius guided the monks and nuns from his pillar through his own example and word, and shone for all like a heavenly lamp, pointing them to the path to salvation. This man of God had such grace that he was often illuminated by the light of heaven, and a pillar of light rose above him to heaven. He was a wonderful and powerful miracle worker during his life and after his death. He lived for more than a hundred years and died in the Lord in 640, during the reign of Emperor Heraclius. Some of his holy relics, ie his honorable head, are kept in the Kutlumush Monastery on Mount Athos.

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