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The Monk Simeon the Bare-Foot (Bosoi)


Commemorated on April 19

The Monk Simeon the Bare-Foot (Bosoi) was the son of a priest. At 15 years of age he came under the spiritual guidance of the bishop of Demetriada (Laryssa diocese), Pakhomios, who gave him monastic vows and ordained him to monk-deacon. In order to better learn strict monastic life, Saint Simeon soon withdrew to a monastery near Mount Olympos, and from there he settled on Holy Mount Athos, at the Laura of Saint Athanasias. By his humility and zealous obedience he there gained the respect of the brethren and was ordained to priest-monk. When the monk transferred to the Philotheon monastery, he intensified his God-pleasing-toil, he became an example for the brethren, gained their overall love and was unanimously chosen as head of this monastery. Afterwards, through the sly cunning of the enemy of good, Saint Simeon had to put up with unjust grumbling on the part of weak-souled monks. Leaving it to the will of God to bring judgement upon the culprits, Saint Simeon quit the monastery and withdrew to Mount Phlamuria. There, in solitude and quiet, without roof nor fire, in old clothing, and almost without food, in constant prayer either standing or on bended-knees, the holy hermit carried on the inner struggle. After three years certain God-loving people came upon him, and inspired with reverence for his lifestyle, they besought him to accept them to live with him.

After seven years by the efforts and zeal of Saint Simeon a whole monastery was formed. A church was built in the Name of the MostHoly Trinity, wherein the monk made daily Divine liturgy. When the life of the brethren in the wilderness monastery had been put in order, the wise servant left the monastery and began to preach the Word of God in Epirus, Thessaly and Athens. By his instructions and teaching the saint affirmed the wavering in their faith, those in error he set aright on the way to salvation, the strong in their faith he made even stronger, and he taught al to love one another, and to observe Sundays and feastdays with a visit to the churches of God.

The boldness of the holy confessor aroused the wicked malice of the opponents of the Christian faith. In the city of Euripa they slandered the Monk Simeon in front of the city-governor, Ayan, accusing him of making a Turk accept Christianity. The saint was arrested and sentenced to public burning. But the providence of God did not permit of the culmination of the injustice. At the interrogation where the condemned one had been led to in shackles, barefoot (bosoi) and in an old ryasa, Saint Simeon – inspired by the Holy Spirit – so wisely gave answer to the governor, that Ayan was not able to impose the death sentence. The saint received his freedom and continued with his efforts, sealing the preaching of Christianity by healings and miracles. Many followed after the Monk Simeon and entrusted themselves into full obedience to him. Everyone he accepted, he gave blessing for the monastic life and sent them on to his monastery. The work of Saint Simeon finished at Constantinople. He peacefully expired to the Lord and was buried reverently by the patriarch himself at Chalkas, in a church in honour of the MostHoly Mother of God. After 2 years, when the monks of the Phlamuria monastery decided to transfer his holy relics to the monastery, and the grave with his body was opened, fragrance wafted forth and here already began healings.

The Vita and the Service to the Monk Simeon were published at Smyrna in the year 1646.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.