The Holy and Righteous St Symeon
(Commemorated 3rd February)
Holy Tradition teaches Holy Tradition teaches that Symeon was one of the seventy Jewish scholars chosen for the task of translating the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek, also known as the Septuagint, used to this day by the Orthodox Church. Symeon was specifically assigned the task of translating the book of Isaiah. When he came to the verse foretelling the Incarnation of Christ, ‘Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel’ (Is. 7:14), he wanted to cross out ‘virgin’ and replace it with ‘young woman’. As he took his pen, an angel appeared and pre-vented him, explaining the truth of the coming of Christ. The angel promised that Symeon would see and touch Christ, born of the Virgin, before his death.
Many years after this revelation, the young Christ-child was brought to the Temple by Panagia, 40 days after His birth. The Holy Spirit revealed to Symeon that the time had come for the promise to be fulfilled. Symeon made his way to the Temple and embraced the child, praying: ‘Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace according to Your word, for my eyes have seen Your salvation’ (Luke 2:29).
Tradition notes that Symeon had reached a very old age at this time, neither a priest nor a Pharisee, but a faithful and righteous man. His relics were transferred to the church of St James in Constantinople in the 6th century, built during the reign of Emperor Justinian.
Source: Lychnos February/March 2018