St. Simeon the Barefoot

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19 April/2 May

St. Simeon the Barefoot was the son of a priest, and from the age of 15, he was under the spiritual care of Bishop Pachomius of Demetriada, Laryssa diocese. Bishop Pachomius tonsured him into monasticism and ordained him a hierodeacon. Ini order to learn the strict monastic life, St. Siomeon soon departed to a monastery near Mt. Olympus, and from there went to the Lavra of St. Athanasius on Holy Mt. Athos. There, his humility and zealous obedience gained him the respect of the brethren, and he was ordained a hieromonk. When the venerable one transferred to the Monastery of Philotheou, he increased his God-pleasing efforts, and becoming an example to the brethren, earned their love and was unanimously chosen to be the rector of the monastery. Later, as the result of the insidious and cunning devices of the hater of good, St. Simeon had to endure the unjust dissatisfaction of monks who were weak in spirit. Leaving it to the will of God to judge the guilty, St. Simeon left the monastery without complaint, and went to Mt. Flamuria. There, in isolation and silence, constantly standing or kneeling in prayer, the holy solitary waged interior battle. Three years later, he was found by people who loved God, and filled with reverence for his manner of life, besought him to allow them to live together with him.

Over the course of seven years, through the efforts and dedication of St. Simeon, an entire monastery gradually came into being. A church dedicated to the Most-holy Trinity was erected, and there the venerable one served the Divine Liturgy every day. Once the life of the brotherhood in the desert monastery became well-established, the wise elder left the monastery, and began to preach the Word of God in Epirus, Thessaly, and Athens. Through his teachings and instruction the saint steadied those wavering in faith, directed to the path of salvation those who had lost their way, strengthened those firm in the faith, taught everyone to love one another and to honor Sundays and other Feast Days by attending the churches of God. The holy confessor’s daring elicited the envious hatred of the enemies of the Christian Faith. In the city of Euripus, St. Simeon was slandered before Aianos, the city ruler, with the charge that he forced Turks to adopt Christianity. The saint was seized and condemned to be burned to death in a public execution.

However, God’s Providence did not allow injustice to triumph. At the inquiry, to which the condemned man was brought in chains, barefoot, and in an old riassa, St. Simeon, inspired by the Holy Spirit, answered the ruler’s questions so wisely that Aianos was unable to pronounce the death sentence. The saint was given his freedom, and continued his spiritual struggle, confirming the message of the Christianity by working healings and miracles. Many people followed St. Simeon, and gave him their complete obedience. He accepted everyone, blessing them to become monastics, and sending them to his monastery. The Venerable Simeon’s service ended in Constantinople. He peacefully went to the Lord, and was buried with honor, by the Patriarch himself, in Khalke, in the Church of the Most-holy Theotokos. Two years later, the monks of the Flamuria monastery decided to translate the holy relics of their rector to the monastery. When they opened his coffin, a sweet fragrance poured forth, and immediately miracles began to occur.

The life of St. Simeon, and a service to him, were published in Smyrna in 1646.

Address of our Cathedral

  • 4001 17th St. N.W.,
  • Washington, D.C., 20011

Phone  (202) 726-3000




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