May 24, 2019 Length: 1:49
He was born in Antioch in 522. His father, John, died in an earthquake, leaving him to be raised by his mother Martha. From his earliest childhood he lived a very ascetic life and was under special protection and guidance of St John the Baptist, who often appeared to him. He became a monk as a young man and, after a vision of the Lord, who appeared to him as a handsome youth and filled his heart to overflowing with love for Christ, he ascended onto a pillar, where he stayed for eighteen years, praying and singing psalms. He then went to the mountain called 'Wonderful', where he lived alone in a barren place for ten years; he then ascended another pillar, where he remained in extreme hardship for forty-five years. During this time he became known as a wonder-worker and visionary: the Prologue says 'The measure of his love for God was such that rare grace was given him, by the help of which he was able to heal every sort of illness, tame wild beasts and perceive the most distant regions of the earth and the hearts of men. He was taken out of the body and saw the heavens, conversed with angels, harried the demons, prophesied, spent thirty days at a time without sleep and even longer without food, receiving nourishment at the hands of angels.' He reposed at the age of 85; seventy-nine years of his life had been spent in asceticism.