Icon of St. Stylianos

Icon of St. Stylianos from Anatolia, Asia Minor about 1893.
Icon of St. Stylianos from Anatolia, Asia Minor about 1893.

When my husband and I were in the adoption process our Greek Orthodox priest gave us an icon of St. Stylianos, the Protector of Children. I gasped when I saw it because I unknowingly had this icon above that I'd taken from my grandparents' house when my grandfather died. I was not raised in the Greek Orthodox Church but held a strong affinity for it and had become an active member as an adult. I didn't know that Stelios was the common name for Stylianos. My grandfather had emigrated with a forged Ottoman passport made "by the Russians" in Constantinople in 1912. My husband and I prayed to St. Stylianos for intercession. One day we heard from a friend of our local attorney that a woman from Nicaragua was looking for adoptive parents in Costa Rica. We followed through and less than a month later, on my birthday, our daughter's birthmother gave birth to our daughter, with us in the hospital. That afternoon, she asked what we wanted to name her. We named her the feminine of Stylianos, Styliani. Her birthmother's given name was Angel of Succor in English! My grandfather's icon will always be precious to us, he was to me. My grandfather also wrote a letter to the Editor of the New York Times while in Army training at Camp Upton, NY.

Place(s): New York City, New Haven Connecticut, Germir, Kayseri, Anatolia, Asia Minor
Year: 1913

– Alexandra Munroe

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant