After the Apostle James, first bishop of Jerusalem, was killed in 63 AD, the Christians elected the Apostle Symeon to take his place. During the reign of Emperor Trajan, it was reported to the Roman governor Atticus that St. Symeon was of the lineage of King David and that he confessed the Christian Faith. The pagans seized St. Simeon, at that time already 100 years of age, and after prolonged torture, crucified him.
St. Simeon is mentioned in Acts 13:1, Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Symeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
- We praise you as a kinsman of Christ,
- A great hierarch and a steadfast martyr, O Symeon,
- Who destroyed deceit and kept the faith;
- Wherefore celebrating now your all-holy memory,
Through your prayers we receive forgiveness of sins.
Kontakion (Tone 4)
- Having the eloquent Symeon as a magnificent star,
- The Church is enlightened and cries:
- Rejoice, O precious crown of the martyrs!
Kontakion (Tone 2)
- As one who had become a citizen of Zion on high,
- You were ordained to the throne of Zion below.
- You guided your flock to the heavenly sheepfold
- And were crucified for Christ,
- Imitating his passion, O Symeon!