Today, the Orthodox Church commemorates beloved Saint Stylianos of Paphlagonia, the Patron Saint of Children, both born and unborn, and Orphans.
Saint Stylianus was born in Paphlagonia of Asia Minor sometime between the fourth and sixth centuries. He inherited a great fortune from his parents when they died, but he did not keep it. He gave it away to the poor according to their need, desiring to help those who were less fortunate.
Stylianus left the city and went to a monastery, where he devoted his life to God. Since he was more zealous and devout than the other monks, he provoked their jealousy and had to leave. He left the monastery to live alone in a cave in the wilderness, where he spent his time in prayer and fasting.
The goodness and piety of the saint soon became evident to the inhabitants of Paphlagonia, and they sought him out to hear his teaching, or to be cured by him. Many were healed of physical and mental illnesses by his prayers.
St. Stylianus was known for his love of children, and he would heal them of their infirmities. Even after his death, the citizens of Paphlagonia believed that he could cure their children. Whenever a child became sick, an icon of St Stylianus was painted and was hung over the child’s bed.
At the hour of his death, the face of St. Stylianus suddenly became radiant, and an angel appeared to receive his soul.
Known as a protector of children, St. Stylianus is depicted in iconography holding an infant in his arms. Pious Christians ask him to help and protect their children, and childless women entreat his intercession so that they might have children.
Please beloved Saint Stylianos, pray to God for us the sinners!