"St. Simon Stylites" and "Pillars of Heaven" by Vaclav Vaca
Illustration to Tennyson's "St. Simeon Stylites" by W. E. F. Britten"And yet I know not well,For that the evil ones come here, and say,'Fall down, O Simeon; thou hast suffered longFor ages and for ages!'"
"Stylites (from Greek stylos, "pillar") or Pillar-Saints are a type of Christian ascetic who in the early days of the Byzantine Empire stood on pillars preaching, fasting and praying. They believed that the mortification of their bodies would help ensure the salvation of their souls. The first stylite was probably Simeon Stylites the Elder who climbed on a pillar in Syria in 423 and remained there until his death 37 years later. via en.wikipedia.org
Simeon was a shepherd until he was 13, when he began to work as a servant at a monastery. Well-loved, he entered a stricter monastery, where he outfasted his brothers. Simeon was expelled from the monastery for excesses. He lived on Mt. Teleanissæ until 423, when he set up his first 9-foot pillar. His ascetical feat drew such attention that he later erected pillars of 12 and 20 feets to escape the crowds who came, twice daily, to hear him preach. At the end of his life (495), he lived on a pillar 60 feet high and 6 feet wide." The Ecole Glossary