Saint Stylianos of Paphlagonia the Hermit
The Venerable Stylianos of Paphlagonia was born in Paphlagonia into a very wealthy family. At a young age, his parents reposed and he distributed his inheritance to the poor and needy. He then joined some hermits of the desert while still very young, desiring to cleanse the soul through prayer and virtue. Unlike most hermits, however, still kept contact with society in order that he might be able to do whatever good that he was able to, and then return to his cave for prayer. One night during prayer, Stylianos was consumed by a divine presence with a sense of serenity he had never felt before. Counselling and comforting his people as was customary, he encountered a sick child to whom he felt compelled to place his hand on it – something which he had never dared to do before. He felt the power of the Holy Spirit being transferred to the young child and the child recovered immediately. From this time, many flocked to the saint from all over, seeking healing and prayers, becoming a magnet for the sick and suffering. During this time, Saint Stylianos concerned himself primarily with children, setting up possibly the first recorded day-care centre where mothers could safely leave their children while tending to other urgent matters. He was also known for miraculously allowing previously barren women to be able to conceive. The most noticeable characteristic of the saint was his cheerful countenance. He was always reported to be smiling, and was thus nicknamed “the smiling saint”. He lived to an old age, reposing peacefully in the Lord with a smile on his face.
Ἦχος γ’. Θείας πίστεως.
Στήλη ἔμψυχος τῆς ἐγκρατείας, στῦλος ἄσειστος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας Στυλιανὲ ἀνεδείχθης μακάριε· ἀνατεθεὶς γὰρ Θεῷ ἐκ νεότητος κατοικητήριον ὤφθης τοῦ Πνεύματος. Πάτερ ὅσιε Χριστὸν τὸν Θεὸν ἱκέτευε δωρίσασθαι ἡμῖν τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.