● Orthodox/Catholic Remembrance Day: February 3
● Name means: the inflamed (Hebrew)
● Devout Israelite
● Patron: of Zadar; to obtain offspring
● Born around 55 B.C. in Jerusalem, Israel
● Died after 5 B.C. in Israel
Simeon, also known as “the God-receiver,” was a pious Israelite who fervently awaited the
long-awaited consolation of Israel. It is believed that he was advanced in years as he had been
given a promise by the Holy Spirit that he would see the Anointed One of the Lord before he
would pass away. When Mary and Joseph presented the infant Jesus in the temple, Simeon
immediately recognized him as the long-awaited Messiah. Overcome with emotion and filled
with the Holy Spirit, Simeon took the newborn child into his arms and praised him with an
inspired hymn of gratitude and thanksgiving — a hymn that has been preserved in the Gospel of
Luke (2:25-35) for all posterity.
In accounts found in the New Testament Apocrypha, we learn that Simeon was not only a
devout priest but also a worthy successor to the priestly lineage of Zacharias, and may have
even held the high priestly office. In the many years that followed, Simeon’s reputation as a
devout and God-fearing man only grew stronger.
Over time, Simeon’s followers would go on to venerate his holy relics, which were ultimately
brought to Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in the 6th century. In the 13th century, the
precious remains of Simeon and his sons were then transferred to Zara (modern-day Zadar,
Croatia), where a grand shrine was erected to commemorate their lives and legacies. Today,
additional relics of Simeon can be found in the Liesborn shrine.
Through the ages, Simeon has remained a powerful symbol of faith, devotion, and hope for
countless Christians around the world. His story has served as a testament to the enduring
power of faith and the unwavering commitment to seeking out and serving God in all things.