Monastery of the Sleepless Ones of Constantinople/Istanbul (d. AD 430)
Alexander became a monk in a monastery near Antioch (modern Antakya). After four years, he left the monastery and went into the desert where he lived for seven years. During this time, some four hundred monks gathered around him. When Alexander started a monastery not far from the Euphrates river, he wanted the monks to engage in uninterrupted praise to God. Alexander divided the monks into twenty-four watches of prayer.
Changing shifts each hour, two choirs would sing the book of Psalms day and night. As a result, the monastery received the name “Monastery of the Sleep- less Ones.” After 12 years, Alexander and his team of monks engaged in a missionary journey through the cities bordering Persia, and eventually built a church and a home for the sick and homeless in Antioch.
Alexander moved to Constantinople where he founded a new monastery of unceasing praise at
Eirenaion on the Bosporus. After 50 years living the concentrated spiritual life of a monk, he died in 430. The monks of Constantinople’s Monastery of the Sleepless Ones eventually joined the Monastery of John the Forerunner after it was built in 462.