St. Symeon

Wednesday February 26, 2020 / February 13, 2020

Week of the Last Judgment. Tone three.


Maslenitsa. Meat is excluded
Venerable Martinian, monk, of Caesarea in Palestine (422). New Hieromartyrs Basil and Gabriel priests (1919). New Hieromartyr Silvester (Olshevsky) bishop of Omsk and Pavlodar (1920). New Hieromartyrs Zosimas, Nicholas, Basil, John, Leontius, Vladimir, Parthenius, John, John, Michael priests and Eugene deacon, and Martyr Paul, Virgin-martyrs Anna, Vera and Irina (1938). Blessed Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Bogucharsk (1950). The holy woman Zoe of Bethlehem and Virgin Photina (5th c.). Venerable Eulogius, archbishop of Alexandria (607-608). Venerable Symeon the Myrrh-gusher, prince of Serbia (1200). Synaxis of All Saints of Omsk Metropolia

The Scripture Readings

Joel 2:12-26 (6th Hour)
Joel 3:12-21 (Vespers)

The Monk Simeon the Myrh-Exuding, Tsar of Serbia

Commemorated on February 13

      The Monk Simeon the Myrh-Exuding, Tsar of Serbia, was in the world the Great “Zhupan” (prince) of Serbia, and had the name Stefan Nemany (Nemanya). He lived during the XII Century. The prince toiled much for his fatherland: he united a large portion of the Serb lands and strove for the political independence of his country. He zealously defended his nation against the incursions of Latinism and heresies. At age 80 Stefan set off to Athos, where his son – the Monk Savva (Comm. 12 January), was glorified by holiness of life. Together there they restored the desolate Khilendaria monastery, to which monks from various lands began to gather. Saint Simeon was a great ascetic and wise guide for the monks. The Monk Simeon died on 13 February 1200. His relics began to exude myrh. The Monk Savva transported the remains of his father back to their native land, to Serbia, and placed them in a church of the MostHoly Mother of God situated at the River Studenitsa. Saint Simeon while still the prince had erected and richly adorned this church.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

REFLECTIONS from the Prologue from Ohrid by St. Nikolai Velimirovic

The great Stefan Nemanja–whose authorative words were unconditionally heeded by everyone, and who caused people and emperors to tremble–became a monk and served the monks of the Holy Mountain as an ideal example of meekness, humility, goodness and piety. Even his death was the death of a truly godly man and spiritual director. He became bedridden on February 7. He summoned St. Sava, placed his hands on him, and blessed him, saying: “My beloved child, the light of my eyes, comfort and protector in my old age! Behold, the time of our separation has arrived. Behold, the Lord is releasing me in peace. But you, my child, do not mourn because of our separation. For parting is the common cup of each and all; here we part from one another, but we will meet there, where there is no separation.” On February 12, St. Simeon asked Sava to clothe him in a burial cassock, to spread a mat on the ground, lay him there and place a stone under his head. He then summoned all the monks and asked their forgiveness. At dawn on February 13, the voices of the monks chanting Matins reached the cell of the dying one. Once more St. Simeon’s face beamed, and he gave up his soul to his God.

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the Lord Jesus as the Lamb of God:

1. As a Lamb born in the dwelling place of lambs;

2. As a Lamb persecuted by men of wolflike temper, such as Herod and others;

3. As the Sacrificial Lamb, Who patiently endured pain and death;

4. As the Victorious Lamb of God on the heavenly throne.

HOMILY

on love above every other love

“He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37).

The entire Gospel teaches that we should leave the lesser for the sake of the greater, the transient for the enduring, the worst for the best, the less valuable for the more valuable. If the Good News did not promise greater worth, who would leave the lesser? If the Gospel did not reveal the splendor of the precious goods, who would leave the cheaper goods? Who would leave milk and honey if he did not find something sweeter? Who would leave father and mother if he did not find someone closer in kinship? Who would leave children and friends if he did not recognize someone more dear? Who would willingly give his life over to suffering and death if he did not perceive immortal life? The Lord Christ is sweeter than milke and honey; He is a closer kinsman to us than our father and mother; more dear to us than our own children and friends; more precious than all visible treasures; more costly than this life, for He gives life eternal. Compared to Him, everything in the world is inferior, trivial, bitter, weak, cheap and transitory. To whoever receives Him, it is easier to leave everything, because he has received the best and Him Who is the very best.

O Lord Jesus, Treasury of all eternal riches, help us to unbind ourselves from everything and to cling to Thee, our Good and our Life.

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.