Saint Simon the Zealot and Apostle
Saint Simon was from Cana in Galilee, and was known to the Lord and the Theotokos. Tradition says that he was the bridegroom at the wedding where the Saviour 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). Saint Simon was also called Simon the Cananite by Saint Matthew (Matt 10:4). The word “Cananite” used by Saint Matthew is believed to be derived from kana, which in the Palestinian dialect of Aramaic means “zealot” or “zealous”; Saint Luke therefore translates the meaning of “Cananite”. Simon means “one who hears”.
Saint Simon was one of the twelve Apostles, and received the Holy Spirit with the others on the day of Pentecost. He travelled to many places from Britain to the Black Sea, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. After winning many pagans to the Lord, Saint Simon suffered martyrdom by crucifixion.
Saint Demetrius of Rostov says that this Saint 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.
Saint Simon is also commemorated on June 30 with the other Apostles.
Apolytikion of Apostle Simon in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostle Simon, intercede with the merciful God that He grant to our souls forgiveness of offences.
Kontakion of Apostle Simon in the Second Tone
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 stands before the throne of glory, and exulting with the bodiless hosts, he intercedes unceasingly for us all.