In the village of Gorne Rzhanitsa near Plav in Montenegro, a church was inaugurated on September 17th in honor of Saint Alypius the Stylite. Following the consecration liturgy and the laying of the foundation stone, 30 local residents received Baptism, as reported by mitropolija.com.
The liturgy in Gorne Rzhanitsa was led by the hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Bishop Mefodije of Budimlja-Nikšić. The consecration was attended by believers from several nearby towns and villages, as well as representatives of the city authorities of Plav.
Congratulating the newly baptized and blessing the construction of the church, Bishop Mefodije stated that under the vaults of the future church, followers of Christ would gather, "thirsting for eternal life and following the path laid by their glorious ancestors."
"Building these walls and laying stones and bricks up to the cross on the dome, we build our relationships, unity, love, harmony, forgiveness, and reconciliation," emphasized Bishop Mefodije. He urged the villagers to participate in the church's construction and wished success to this endeavor.
Milun Tomović, Chairman of the Construction Committee, stated that the laying of the new church was a special day for the entire village. According to him, many generations have dreamed of building the first church in Montenegro dedicated to Saint Alypius the Stylite in Gorne Rzhanitsa.
Saint Alypius the Stylite lived in Paphlagonia in the 6th century. Orphaned at an early age, he dedicated himself to the priestly service. One night, while accompanying his bishop to Constantinople, Saint Alypius had a vision of the holy martyr Euphemia, instructing him to return to his homeland and establish a church in her name on the site of an abandoned pagan cemetery. He fulfilled this directive and began an ascetic life. Next to the church, in the open air, the saint constructed a pillar from an ancient column and stood on it for 53 years, in constant prayer. Saint Alypius was granted the gift of prophecy, the ability to exorcise demons, and the healing of illnesses. He provided guidance to many who came to him. Over time, two monasteries emerged near the pillar: a male and a female one, where Saint Alypius introduced strict monastic rules and governed them until his death. Saint Alypius passed away at the age of over 100.