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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Feast of St Daniel Stylites

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Life and commentary

Just about the time of his holy departure from this life a man vexed with an unclean spirit suddenly cried aloud in the midst of the people, announcing the presence of the saints with the holy man, naming each one of them; and he said, 'There is great joy in heaven at this hour, for the holy angels have come to take the holy man with them, besides there are come, too, the honourable and glorious companies of prophets and apostles and martyrs and saints; they are tormenting me now, and to-morrow at the third hour they will drive me out of this tabernacle; when the holy man is going to his home in the heavens and his saintly corpse is being brought down, I shall come out.' And this did indeed happen. Our glorious father Daniel died at the third hour on the following day, a Saturday, December 11th in the second indiction (A.D. 493), and at the time of his death he worked a miracle in that the man with an unclean spirit was healed.
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Our all-praiseworthy father Daniel bade adieu to his parents when he was twelve years old, then for twenty-five years he lived in a monastery; after that during five years he visited the fathers and from each learned what might serve his purpose, making his anthology from their teaching. At the time when the crown of his endurance began to be woven the Saint had completed his forty-second year, and at that age he came by divine guidance, as we have explained above, to this our imperial city. He dwelt in the church for nine years, standing on the capital of a column, thus training himself beforehand in the practice of that discipline which he was destined to bring to perfection. For he had learned from many divine revelations that his duty was to enter upon the way of life practised by the blessed and sainted Simeon.

For three and thirty years and three months he stood for varying periods on the three columns, as he changed from one to another, so that the whole span of his life was a little more than eighty-four years.

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