Saint Alexander Akimetes was a missionary who is remembered for his non stop praise of God. He was born sometime in the mid to late 300s (A.D.
) and became a rich Roman officer. At one point Alexander was moved by Christs words, sold all of his possessions, and became a monk. However, he was too adventurous for the life of a monk, and after 7 years finally left the monastery and set a pagan temple on fire. He was arrested, but ended up converting the governor and most of his household. After Alexander was freed, he went to the desert to live as a hermit. However, he fell in with a group of robbers who found him. Amazingly he converted the robbers and turned them into monks, with their hideout as a monastery. He made one of them the abbot then left for Constantinople.
Once there Alexander attempted to establish a monastery during the time about 400 A.D., but was driven out of Constantinople. Instead he went to Gomon, right by the Black Sea, and established his monastery there. There he achieved his goal of giving praise to God all the time.
Literally 24 hours a day 7 days a week, he established a way to always have prayer going on. Alexander got a few hundred monks and had the take shifts singing and rotating, so that at any given time there was a group of monks singing praises to God. The monks were called the sleepless ones because it seemed like they never slept or ate, but they were really taking shifts so that God could be continually praised.
He was following the advice of Saint Paul who said to pray without ceasing in a letter to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Alexander Akimetes eventually died in 430, probably being somewhere between the ages of 80 and 50. He was canonized pre-congregation so the date is unknown, and his feast day is February 23.
He is remembered for getting 400 monks to join together to make Paul’s advice a reality, and constantly giving praise to God.