On this day we commemorate the departure of St. Luke, the Stylite, and the relocation of his holy relics. He was born in Persia, to Christian parents. He became a soldier and was promoted until he became a centurion (an officer over a hundred soldiers).
Later in his life, he wanted to live a solitary life. He left the world and all its vainglory and became a monk in one of the monasteries of the east. When his virtues were known, he was ordained a priest for that monastery.
From this time on, he devoted himself to the ascetic life in continual prayers and fasting. He used to fast six days at a time and then break his fast on the seventh day after Mass, by eating a "Korbana" and some green pulses (beans). Then he lived on the top of a high rock for 3 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 go near Constantinople. He went and dwelt in a village nearby, on the top of a rock, in the shape of a pillar, for 45 years fighting the spiritual fight. God granted him the gift of prophecy and the gift of performing miracles. He healed everyone who went to him.
When he completed his holy course, he departed on the 15th day of Kiahk. His disciple went and told the Patriarch about his departure. The Patriarch went with the priests, crosses and censors and came to where the body of the saint was. They carried him to Constantinople on the third day of his departure, with hymns and prayers, and they placed him in the sanctuary and that was on the 17th day of Kiahk. After they prayed on him the third day prayer and the believers present received the blessing of his pure body, they put him in a marble sarcophagus next to the bodies of the saints. God revealed many signs and miracles from his body.
His prayers be with us all and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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