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Simeon Stylites


Simeon Stylites

The son of a shepherd. Simeon was expelled because of his extreme asceticism, so he became a hermit. He achieved notoriety due to his extreme practices of self-denial and prayer, resulting in visions. His first pillar was only 6 feet off the ground, but over the years he expanded and lengthened his pillar to 50 feet high with a platform of 1 yard wide. He remained atop the pillar for 37 years permanently exposed to the weather, standing of sitting throughout the daylight and nighttime. A small railing prevented Simeon from falling off, and a ladder was provided to bring food to him. As his fame increased, he became a counselor for many maladies. When he died his body was found by a disciple stooped in prayer. His humility and obedience attracted many non-believers to belief and Baptism.

Prayer

O God, you have brought us near to a innumerable company of witnesses and to the spirit of just men made perfect: Grant us during our earthly pilgrimage to abide in their fellowship, and in our heavenly country to become partakers of their joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.

John 3:16

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son to the end that all who believe in him shall not perish but will have eternal life.

Reflection

St. Augustine says, this is the business of our life: by effort and by toil to advance in the grace of God, till we come to that height of perfection in which with clean hearts we may behold God. Simeon’s decision to spend his life on a solitary pillar, enduring the challenges of weather and shunning the world are unusual, but he did so to demonstrate his love and commitment to Jesus Christ. To what extent are you willing to go to show your love and devotion to Jesus?


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