« Spyridon, bp. of Trimithus Stagirus, friend of Chrysostom Stephanus I., bp. of Rome »

Stagirus, friend of Chrysostom

Stagirus (Stagirius), a young friend of Chrysostom, of noble birth, who against his father's wishes embraced a monastic life, joining the brotherhood of which Chrysostom was a member, and continuing there after failure of health compelled Chrysostom's return to Antioch. The self-indulgent life Stagirus had led was a door preparation for the austerities of monasticism, and he proved a very unsatisfactory monk. He found the nightly vigils intolerable, and reading hardly less distasteful. He spent his time m attending to a garden and orchard. He also manifested much pride of his high birth. His health broke down under the strain of so uncongenial a life. He became subject to convulsive attacks, which were then considered to indicate demoniacal possession. He employed all recognised means for expelling the evil spirit. He applied to persons of superior sanctity, often taking long journeys to obtain the aid of those who had the reputation of healing those afflicted with spiritual maladies, and visited the most celebrated martyrs' shrines, and prayed long and fervently both there and at home, but in vain, though his religious character sensibly improved. He rose at night and devoted much time to prayer and became meek and humble. Chrysostom's counsels to him are in the 3 books ad Stagirium a daemone vexatum, or de Divina Providentia (Socr. H. E. vi. 3). What the physical issue was we do not know. Nilus highly commends his piety, humility, and contrition, but uses language which indicates that his attacks did not entirely pass away (Nilus, Epp. lib. iii. 19).

[E.V.]

« Spyridon, bp. of Trimithus Stagirus, friend of Chrysostom Stephanus I., bp. of Rome »





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