Saint of the Day – 8 October – St Simeon – also known as Holy Simeon, St Simeon the Prophet, Symeon and Simeon Senex – senex means “the old man” and St Simeon the Elder, was present when Jesus was brought into the temple as an infant – celebrated as the feast of the Presentation – the Presentation is celebrated on 2 February and is the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.
According to the Biblical account, Simeon had been visited by the Holy Spirit and told that he would not die until he had seen the Christ of the Lord. Moved by the Holy Spirit, he entered the Temple as Mary and Joseph brought the child Jesus in. On taking Jesus into his arms he uttered a prayer, which is still used liturgically as the Latin Nunc Dimittis (“Now you dismiss”) every night in Compline of the Divine Office. Simeon gave a prophecy alluding to the crucifixion. His prophecy is used in the context of Our Lady of Sorrows. Simeon is venerated as a saint with his memorial today in the revised Martyrology of the Roman Catholic Church.
The sole mention in the New Testament of Simeon is as follows:
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him in his arms and blessed God and said,
“Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
And his father and his mother marvelled at what was said about him and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
The Nunc Dimittis
Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace.
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum
Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum.
Lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.
English (Roman Breviary):
Now, Master, you let your servant go in peace. You have fulfilled your promise.
My own eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples.
A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness, the glory of your people Israel.