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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.