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SAINT SIMEON, THE GOD-RECEIVER

During the reign of the Egyptian Emperor Ptolemy Philadelphus, Simeon was chosen as one of the prominent Seventy to whom was entrusted the task of translating the Bible from the Hebrew language into the Greek language [The Septuagint]. Simeon was performing his task conscientiously but when he was translating the book of the Prophet Isaiah and came upon the prophecy: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and will give birth to a son” (Isaiah 7:14), he became confused and took a knife to remove the word “virgin” and to replace it with the words, “young woman,” and as such to translate it into Greek. At that moment, however, an angel of God appeared to Simeon and restrained him from his intention, explaining to him that the prophecy is true; that the prophecy is correctly written: that it is true and correct. The messenger of God also said that Simeon would be convinced of it personally for, according to the Will of God, he will not die until he sees the Messiah born of the Virgin. The righteous Simeon
rejoiced to hear such a voice from heaven, left the prophecy unchanged and thanked God Who is making him worthy to live and to see the Promised One.

When the young Child Jesus was presented in the Temple in Jerusalem by the Virgin Mary, the Spirit of God appeared to Simeon who was very old and as “white as a swan.” Simeon quickly entered the Temple and there recognized both the Virgin and the young Child by the light that shone around their heads as an aureal. The joyful Simeon took Christ into his hands and prayed to God to release him from this life: “Now, Master, You may let Your servant go in peace, according to Your word, for my eyes have seen Your salvation” (St. Luke 2: 29-30). Anna the Prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, was also there, who recognized the Messiah and proclaimed Him to the people. “And coming forward at that very moment, she gave thanks to God, and spoke about the Child to all
who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” (St. Luke 2:38). At that time, Anna was eighty-four years old.

St. Simeon died shortly after that. This righteous Elder Simeon is considered to be the
Protector of young children.

The Prologue of Saint Nikolai Velimirovitch

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