• St. Simeon (107). Bishop, Martyr. (Traditional) Patriarch of Jerusalem. Jesus’s first cousin. crucified.
  • St. Bernadette Soubrious (1879). Religious, Virgin. (Current, Traditional) Seer of Lourdes visions.
  • St. Ephrem of Syria (Ephraim Syriac) (373). Deacon, Doctor of the Church. (Traditional)

ST. SIMEON was the son of Cleophas, otherwise called Alpheus, brother to St. Joseph, and of Mary, sister of the Blessed Virgin. He was therefore nephew both to St. Joseph and to the Blessed Virgin, and cousin to our Saviour. We cannot doubt but he was an early follower of Christ, and that he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, with the Blessed Virgin and the apostles. When the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser, his brother Simeon reproached them for their atrocious cruelty. St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem, being put to death in the year 62, twenty-nine years after our Saviour’s resurrection, the apostles and disciples met at Jerusalem to appoint him a successor. They unanimously chose St. Simeon, who had probably before assisted his brother in the government of that Church. 

In the year 66, in which SS. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome, the civil war began in Judea, by the seditions of the Jews against the Romans. The Christians in Jerusalem were warned by God of the impending destruction of that city. They therefore departed out of it the same year, before Vespasian, Nero’s general, and afterward emperor, entered Judea, and retired beyond Jordan to a small city called Pella, having St. Simeon at their head. After the taking and burning of Jerusalem, they returned thither again, and settled themselves amidst its ruins, till Adrian afterward entirely razed it. The Church here flourished, and multitudes of Jews were converted by the great number of prodigies and miracles wrought in it. 

Vespasian and Domitian had commanded all to be put to death who were of the race of David. St. Simeon had escaped their searches; but Trajan having given the same order, certain heretics and Jews accused the Saint, as being both of the race of David and a Christian, to Atticus, the Roman governor in Palestine. The holy bishop was condemned to be crucified. After having undergone the usual tortures during several days, which, though one hundred and twenty years old, he suffered with so much patience that he drew on him a universal admiration, and that of Atticus in particular, he died in 107. He must have governed the Church of Jerusalem about forty-three years.

Bf saints 02 18 blog

REFLECTION: We bear the name of Christians, but are full of the spirit of worldlings, and our actions are infected with its poison. We secretly seek ourselves, even when we flatter ourselves that God is our only aim, and whilst we undertake to convert the world, we suffer it to pervert us. When shall we begin to study to crucify our passions and die to ourselves, that we may lay a solid foundation of true virtue and establish its reign in our hearts?


CHRISTIAN LAW. The revealed precepts of the New Testament. There is a sense in which the Christian dispensation superseded the laws of earlier revelation, since the ceremonial and judicial practices of the Israelites have ceased to be binding on the followers of Christ. Also the moral code of pre-Christian Judaism has been greatly elevated. But all of this, as Christ was careful to explain, does not mean that he came to "abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved" (Matthew 5:17-18).

What Christ wished to make clear is that the morality of the New Law of the Kingdom is higher and more spiritual than that of the Old Law, especially as interpreted by the scribes and Pharisees. Above all, it is new because it is based on the example and teaching of God in human form. And it is new in the exalted demand that the law of Christ makes on human generosity in the practice of charity.

Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon SJ (Get the real one at Eternal Life — don’t accept an abridged or edited version of this masterpiece!)


Enjoy daily meditations this lent from Fr. Richard Clarke, SJ. Short and powerful, written in 1880 for busy lay people to reap rewards through lent. (includes audio) Lent Day 5: The First Sunday in Lent— Jesus’s Desire for His Sufferings.

This article, FEBRUARY 18, 2024 – LENT DAY 5 – ST. SIMEON, BISHOP, MARTYR. is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.

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