Daniel the Stylite

December 11 is the Feast of St Daniel the Stylite
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“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.
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.”
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.””
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“This Saint was from the village of Marutha in the region of Samosata in Mesopotamia. He became a monk at the age of twelve. After visiting Saint Symeon the Stylite (see Sept. 1) and receiving his blessing, he was moved with zeal to follow his marvellous way of life. At the age of forty-two, guided by providence, he came to Anaplus in the environs of Constantinople, in the days of the holy Patriarch Anatolius (see July 3), who was also healed by Saint Daniel of very grave malady and sought to have him live near him. Upon coming to Anaplus, Saint Daniel first lived in the church of the Archangel Michael, but after some nine years, Saint Symeon the Stylite appeared to him in a vision, commanding him to imitate his own ascetical struggle upon a pillar. The remaining thirty-three years of his life he stood for varying periods on three pillars, one after another. He stood immovable in all weather, and once his disciples found him covered with ice after a winter storm. He was a counsellor of emperors; the pious emperor Leo the Great fervently loved him and brought his royal guests to meet him. It was at Saint Daniel’s word that the holy relics of Saint Symeon the Stylite were brought to Constantinople from Antioch, and it was in his days that the Emperor Leo had the relics of the Three Holy Children brought from Babylon. Saint Daniel also defended the Church against the error of the Eutychians. Having lived through the reigns of the Emperors Leo, Zeno, and Basiliscus, he reposed in 490, at the age of eighty-four.”
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HYMN OF PRAISE: The Venerable Daniel the Stylite

When holy Daniel desired to die
He taught his disciples thus:
“My dear children, the fruit of my labor,
Affix your heart to the Living God,
Contemplate in spirit the Heavenly Father.
Glorify the wondrous Creator with praise.
Let humility be the first of your virtues;
The humble in heaven are God’s noblemen.
Then show obedience, such as befits the humble.
These are two adornments of every true believer.
The humble and the obedient keep hospitality:
Be hospitable and magnanimous.
These are three virtues, and still more I will say:
Fasting, vigils, poverty – the path to eternal happiness.
Here are six candles in the earthly darkness,
And the seventh is love, the greatest of all.”
Thus the saint spoke, and imparted his blessings,
Then rendered his holy soul to the Lord.
O holy Daniel, inhabitant of heaven,
Implore Christ for the needs of us sinners.

For “The Life of Daniel the Stylite” see http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/dan-stylite.asp
See further http://www.uky.edu/~havice/AH322/stdan.htm
Three Byzantine Saintshr
See also Elizabeth A. S. Dawes (Author, Editor) , Norman Hepburn Baynes (Editor) “Three Byzantine Saints: Contemporary Biographies of St. Daniel the Stylite, St. Theodore of Sykeon, and St. John the Almsgiver” (1977)


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