According to Eusebius (Church History, Book III, ch. 11), Saint Symeon is said to have been the son of Cleopas, otherwise called Alpheus, who was father also of Saint James the Lesser, of Saint Jude the Apostle, and of another son named Joseph. Alpheus, according to tradition, was Saint Joseph’s brother; thus Saint Symeon was the nephew of Saint Joseph and the cousin of our Savior.
However, Symeon is sometimes identified with Symeon, the “brother of the Lord”, who is mentioned in passing in the Bible (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3) (although Aramaic had no term for “cousin”) and pointing to Hegesippus referring to him as the “second cousin” as bishop of Jerusalem. James the Brother of our Lord was the first bishop of Jerusalem. Other exegetes consider the brothers to be actual brothers and Hegesippus’ wording as subsuming both James and Symeon under a more general term.
We cannot doubt but that he was an early follower of Christ; tradition assigns the family’s residence to Nazareth. He certainly received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, with the Blessed Virgin and the Apostles. When the Jews massacred Saint James the Brother of our Lord, his brother Symeon reproached them for their atrocious cruelty. After this first bishop of Jerusalem had been put to death in the year 62, that is, twenty-nine years after Our Savior’s Resurrection, the Apostles and disciples met at Jerusalem to appoint a successor, and unanimously chose Saint Symeon, who had probably already assisted his brother in the government of that Church.
In the year 66 or 67, during which Saints Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome, civil war broke out in Judea as a result of the hostility of the Jews against the Romans and their seditions. The Christians of Jerusalem were warned by God of the impending destruction of that city. With Saint Symeon at their head, they therefore left it in that year and retired beyond the Jordan to a small city called Pella, before Vespasian, Nero’s General, later Roman Emperor, entered Judea. After the taking and burning of Jerusalem they returned there once more, still under the leadership of Saint Symeon, and settled amid its ruins.
The Jerusalem church flourished again for a few years until razed by Adrian, and multitudes of Jews were converted by the great number of prodigies and miracles wrought in its midst. The emperors Vespasian and Domitian had commanded all to be put to death who were of the race of David; but Saint Symeon escaped their searches. When Trajan renewed the same decree, however, certain heretics and Jews accused the Saint before the Roman governor in Palestine, as being both of the race of David and a Christian.
The holy bishop was condemned to be crucified. He died in the year 107, after having undergone during several days the usual tortures, though he was one hundred and twenty years old. He suffered these torments with so much patience that he won universal admiration. He had governed the Church of Jerusalem for about forty-three years.
INTROIT Psalm 20:2-3
In thy strength, O Lord, the king shall joy; and in thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly. Thou hast given him his heart’s desire. Ps 20:4 For thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness: thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. In thy strength, O Lord, the king shall joy; and in thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly. Thou hast given him his heart’s desire.
Look mercifully, almighty God, upon our weakness, and since the burden of our sins weighs heavily upon us, may the glorious intercession of blessed Simeon, Your Martyr and Bishop, sustain us. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
for the Intercession of the Saints
Defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers of mind and body; that through the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, together with blessed Joseph, Thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and blessed N. (Here mention the titular saint of the church), and all the saints, mercifully grant us safety and peace; that all adversities and errors being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom.
For the Church
Graciously accept the prayers of Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that, overcoming all hostility and error, She may serve Thee in safety and freedom. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen
EPISTLE Wis 10:10-14
She conducted the just, when he fled from his brother’s wrath, through the right ways, and shewed him the kingdom of God, and gave him the knowledge of the holy things, made him honourable in his labours, and accomplished his labours. In the deceit of them that overreached him, she stood by him, and made him honourable. She kept him safe from his enemies, and she defended him from seducers, and gave him a strong conflict, that he might overcome, and know that wisdom is mightier than all. She forsook not the just when he was sold, but delivered him from sinners: she went down with him into the pit. And in bands she left him not, till she brought him the sceptre of the kingdom, and power against those that oppressed him: and shewed them to be liars that had accused him, and gave him everlasting glory.
GRADUAL/TRACT Psalm 111:1-2
Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he shall delight exceedingly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed. Ps 20:3-4 Thou hast given him his heart’s desire: end hast not withholden from him the will of his lips. V. For thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness: V. Thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones.
GOSPEL Matthew 10:34-42
In that time: Jesus said to his disciples: Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And as a man’s enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive the reward of a prophet: and he that receiveth a just man in the name of a just man, shall receive the reward of a just man. And whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 8:6-7
Thou hast made him a little less than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honour: and hast set him over the works of thy hands.
Graciously accept, O Lord, the offerings dedicated to You by the merits of St. Simeon, Your Martyr and Bishop; and grant that they may be a perpetual help to us. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
For the Intercession of the Saints
Graciously hear us, O God our Savior, and by the virtue of this sacrament protect us from all enemies of soul and body, bestowing on us both grace in this life and glory hereafter.
For the Church
Protect us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries, that holding fast to things divine, we may serve Thee both in body and soul. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen
PREFACE of the Common
It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matt 16:24
He who wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
We who have been refreshed by partaking of the divine sacrifice, beseech You, O Lord our God, that through the intercession of blessed Simeon, Your Martyr and Bishop, we may experience the effects of the worship we perform. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
For the Intercession of the Saints
May the oblation of this divine sacrament cleanse and defend us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and, through the intercession of the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with blessed Joseph, Thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, blessed N. (here mention the titular saint of the church), and all the saints, purify us from all our sins and deliver us from all adversity.
For the Church
We beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou wouldst not allow to be exposed to human perils, those whom Thou hast been pleased to make sharers of these divine mysteries. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen