(Died 107 AD)
Simeon was the son of Cleophas, also called Alpheus, brother to St. Joseph, and of Mary, sister to the Blessed Virgin. He was therefore nephew to St. Joseph and to the Blessed Virgin, and cousin to Jesus.
Simeon was an early follower of Christ, and probably received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, with the Blessed Virgin and the apostles.
When the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser, his brother Simeon reprimanded them for their cruelty. When St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem, was later put to death in the year 62, 29 years after the Resurrection, the apostles and disciples met at Jerusalem to appoint him a successor. They unanimously chose St. Simeon, who probably assisted his brother in the government of that Church.
In the year 66, Sts. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome and the civil war began in Judea, with the Jews against the Romans. It is said that the Christians in Jerusalem were warned by God of the impending destruction of that city. They therefore departed out of it the same year, (before Vespasian, Nero’s general, and afterward emperor, entered Judea) and withdrew beyond Jordan to a small city called Pella, with St. Simeon at their head. After the taking and burning of Jerusalem they returned and settled amidst its ruins of the city until it was entirely razed. The Church then flourished, and many Jews were converted.
The emperors Vespasian and Domitian commanded all to be put to death who were of the race of David. St. Simeon escaped their searches; but when Trajan came to power, he issued the same order. Certain heretics and Jews accused the Saint, as being of the race of David and a Christian, to Atticus, the Roman governor in Palestine. The holy bishop was condemned to be crucified.
Simeon endured the usual tortures during several days, which, though advanced in age, he suffered with so much patience that he gained universal admiration. He died in 107. It is believed that Simeon governed the Church of Jerusalem about forty-three years.
Adapted by A.J. Valentini from: St. Simeon of Jerusalem, Bishop and Martyr-Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. (n.d.). Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Retrieved April 20, 2021, from http://icsparks.org/saints/st-simeon-of-jerusalem-bishop-and-martyr/