January 14, 2017

Synaxarion of Saint Stephen, Founder of Chenolakkos Monastery

St. Stephen of Chenolakkos (Feast Day - January 14)


Building Chenolakkos Monastery,
Divine Stephen dug his grave in a pond.*

Saint Stephen was from somewhere in the East and came from a noble family, like the righteous Job. From an early age he loved the ascetic life, and visited the monasteries and places of asceticism of the venerable Fathers which are in Jordan and the desert, namely that of Saint Euthymios, Saint Savvas and Saint Theodosios. Having come to know the way of life of each monastery, he went to Constantinople during the reign of Leo the Isaurian (717-741) the iconoclast.

There he was given hospitality by the most holy Patriarch Germanos, and the Saint stayed near him for some time. Having benefited much from him, and receiving his advice as to what good thing he should do, he spent his life in that place where his monastery is found today.** Many monks gathered there, and governing them in the education and admonition of the Lord, he raised them to perfection and to the measure of full maturity in Christ. Having conducted himself well, and having become engaged to the future glory and blessedness from this life, the renowned one flew off from his home below to the heavenly mansions above. Worthy people saw his holy soul ascending with glory and an escort into the heavens, as they themselves have testified.


* Chenolakkos in Greek is translated as "Goose Pond."

** The exact location of Chenolakkos Monastery is uncertain, though it was in Moudania (mod. Mudanya), along the Sea of Marmara across from Constantinople.