Our church is named after the St Simon the Apostle, who was from Cana in Galilee, and was known to the Lord and yoldath aloho. Tradition says that he was the bridegroom at the wedding where the Savior performed his first miracle. After witnessing the miracle of the water which had been turned into wine, he became a zealous follower of Christ (John 2:1-11; Luke 6:15).
St Simon was also called Simon the Cananite by St Matthew (Matt 10:4). Here it is good to note that the Hebrew word for zeal is qana, which would easily lead to a Greek transliteration into “Canaanite” or Kananaios (as in Matthew 10:4), meaning “the zealous”. In the Palestinian dialect of Aramaic means “zealot” or “zealous”; St Luke therefore translates the meaning of “Cananite”. Simon means “one who hears”.
St. Simon was one of the twelve Apostles, and received the Holy Spirit with the others on the day of Pentecost. He traveled to many places from Britain to the Black Sea, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.
The Martyrdom of St. Simon
St. Simon preached the Gospel throughout the known world – though it is difficult to establish just when and where this ministry took place. There is good reason to believe that he suffered martyrdom in Persia, perhaps at Suanir. Other ancient traditions believe that he was crucified while ministering as the Bishop of Jerusalem (after having preached in Samaria for some time).
The principal Latin tradition holds that Simon was sawed to pieces in Suanir, Persia. Moreover, most depictions of his martyrdom show St. Simon being sawn in half – either top down, or bottom up. For this reason, he is often represented as holding a saw.
St Demetrius of Rostov says that this St Simon is to be distinguished from the Apostle Simon Peter, and from the Lord’s relative Simon (Matt13:55), who was the second Bishop of Jerusalem.
We commemorate St. Simon on May 10, which is the festival day of our church. St. Simon is also commemorated on June 30 with the other Apostles.
Prayer to our Patron Saint
O Holy Apostle Simon,
intercede with the merciful God
that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of our offenses.
Another Prayer to Our Patron Saint
With praise let us all bless Simon the herald of God,
who established securely in the souls of the pious the doctrines of wisdom;
for now he standeth before the throne of glory, and exulting with the bodiless hosts,
he intercedes unceasingly for us all.