Departure of St. Luke the Stylite (Coptic Calendar—Kiahk 17)
Orthodox Saints

On this day, we commemorate the departure of St. Luke, the Stylite who was born in Persia, of Christian parents. He became a soldier and was promoted until he became a centurion (an officer over a hundred soldiers).

Later, he wanted to live a solitary life. He left the world and all its glory and became a monk in one of the monasteries of the East. When his virtues were known he was ordained a priest in the monastery.

From that time on, he devoted himself to an ascetic life in prayer and in fasting. He used to fast six days at a time and then break his fast on the seventh day after the Liturgy, by eating a "Korbana" and some green beans. He lived on the top of a high rock for three years.

One day, he heard the voice of an angel calling him by his name to go down. When he went down, the angel showed him a cross of light. He followed the voice and the cross went before him until he came to some mountains. There he stayed for some time, teaching his visitors the way of salvation.

He was inspired by God to live near the City of Constantinople. He went and dwelt in a village nearby on the top of a rock, in the shape of a pillar, for forty-five years fighting a spiritual fight. For this reason, he was called the "Stylite." (A stylite was a religious ascetic who lived most of the time on the top of a pillar, without shelter.) God granted him the gifts of prophecy and of performing miracles. He healed everyone who went to him.

When he completed his holy course, he departed on the 15 day of Kiahk. His disciples went and informed the Pope about his departure. The Pope went with the priests, the crosses, the censers to the site where the body of the saint was. They carried him to Constantinople on the third day of his departure, which is the 17th day of the month of Kiahk, and they placed him in the altar. They prayed the third-day prayers. The believers present received the blessing of the sacred body. Then they put him in a marble sarcophagus next to the bodies of the saints. God revealed many signs and miracles from his body.

Glory be to God forever and ever. Amen.