Saint of the Day ~ February 18

SAINT SIMON (or SIMEON) of JERUSALEM (?-106), bishop and martyr

Today, the Church honors Saint Simon (also referred to as Simeon), known to be a relative of Jesus, possibly a first cousin and also a brother of James, the first bishop of Jerusalem. He is mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew, and was one of the 72 disciples.

He was present at the Ascension, and is one of the brethren of Christ mentioned in Acts who was probably present at the birth of the Church on Pentecost. He is believed to have been at the martyrdom of Saint James, and was chosen to succeed him as bishop of Jerusalem, where it is said he served for over forty years.

The Christian community in Jerusalem had been warned of the coming Roman destruction of the city. Before the city fell, Simon led the small community of believers to safety in a town called Pella across the Jordan. In the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem, Simon led the Christians back to the city where they flourished and it is said that many of the Jewish residents were converted.

Simon was eventually arrested, tortured and martyred by being crucified in the year 106 for the twin crimes of being Jewish and Christian during the persecutions under the Roman emperor, Trajan. Simon was said to be over 100 years old at the time of his death.

We commemorate his feastday on February 18.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, catholicculture.org and newadvent.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for One Martyr)

“All-powerful, Ever-living God, You gave Saint Simon the courage to witness to the Gospel of Christ, even to the point of giving his life for it. By his prayers, help us to endure all suffering for love of You and to seek You with all our hearts, for You alone are the Source of life.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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