19 Facts About Simeon Stylites


Simeon Stylites is venerated as a saint by the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic Churches.


Syriac letters in the British Museum attributed to Simeon Stylites indicate that he was a Miaphysite and opposed the result of the Chalcedonian council.


Simeon Stylites was born in Sis, now the Turkish town of Kozan in Adana Province.


Simeon Stylites entered a monastery before the age of 16.


Simeon Stylites shut himself up in a hut for one and a half years, where he passed the whole of Lent without eating or drinking.


Simeon Stylites later took to standing continually upright so long as his limbs would sustain him.


Simeon Stylites determined to live out his life on this platform.


Simeon Stylites displayed complete obedience and humility, and the monks told him to stay where he was.


The first pillar that Simeon Stylites occupied was little more than 3 meters.


Simeon Stylites later moved his platform to others, the last in the series reportedly more than 15 meters from the ground.


Simeon Stylites sometimes prayed in an erect attitude, with his outstretched arms in the figure of a cross, but his most familiar practice was that of bending his meagre skeleton from the forehead to the feet; and a curious spectator, after numbering twelve hundred and forty-four repetitions, at length desisted from the endless account.


Reports of Simeon Stylites reached the church hierarchy and the imperial court.


The Emperor Theodosius II and his wife Aelia Eudocia greatly respected Simeon Stylites and listened to his counsels, while the Emperor Leo I paid respectful attention to a letter he sent in favour of the Council of Chalcedon.


Simeon Stylites is said to have corresponded with Genevieve of Paris.


Once when Simeon Stylites was ill, Theodosius sent three bishops to beg him to come down and allow himself to be attended by physicians, but Simeon Stylites preferred to leave his cure in the hands of God, and before long he recovered.


When she died, Simeon Stylites asked that her coffin be brought to him, and he reverently bade farewell to his dead mother.


Accounts differ with regard to how long Simeon Stylites lived upon the pillar, with estimates ranging from 35 to 42 years.


Simeon Stylites is commemorated as a saint in the Coptic Orthodox Church, where his feast is on 29 Pashons.


The life of Simeon Stylites inspired an 1842 poem by Alfred Tennyson, "St Simeon Stylites".