Saint for the Day - January 5 - St. Simeon
One winter's day, about the year 401, the snow lay
thick around Sisan, a little town in Cilicia. A
shepherd boy, who could not lead his sheep to the
fields on account of the cold, went to the church
instead, and listened to the eight Beatitudes, which
were read that morning. He asked how these blessings
were to be obtained, and when he was told of the
monastic life a thirst for perfection arose within
him. He became the wonder of the world, the great
St. Simeon Stylites. He was warned that perfection
would cost him dear, and so it did. A mere child, he
began the monastic life, and therein passed a dozen
years in superhuman austerity. He bound a rope round
his waist till the flesh was putrefied. He ate but
once in seven days, and, when God led him to a
solitary life, kept fasts of forty days.
Thirty-seven years he spent on the top of pillars,
exposed to heat and cold, day and night adoring the
majesty of God. Perfection was all in all to St.
Simeon; the means nothing, except in so far as God
chose them for him. The solitaries of Egypt were
suspicious of a life so new and so strange, and they
sent one of their number to bid St. Simeon come down
from his pillar and return to the common life. In a
moment the Saint made ready to descend; but the
Egyptian religious was satisfied with this proof of
humility. "Stay," he said, "and take courage; your
way of life is from God."
Cheerfulness, humility, and obedience set their seal
upon the austerities of St. Simeon. The words which
God put into his mouth brought crowds of heathens to
baptism and of sinners to penance. At last, in the
year 460, those who watched below noticed that he
had been motionless three whole days. They ascended,
and found the old man's body still bent in the
attitude of prayer, but his soul was with God.
Extraordinary as the life of St. Simeon may appear,
it teaches us two plain and practical lessons:
First, we must constantly renew within ourselves an
intense desire for perfection. Secondly, we must use
with fidelity and courage the means of perfection
God points out.
Saint for the Day - St. Simeon Stylites
Read about the Saint for today - January 5 and spare a thought for family or friends who might suffering from ill health or are experiencing times of trouble.
St. Augustine says: "This is the
business of our life: by effort
and by toil, by prayer and
supplication, to advance in the
grace of God, till we come to
that height of perfection in
which with clean hearts we may
Saint for the Day Website
We hope that you gain spiritual knowledge and inspiration reading about the saint for today - January 5. An online Catholic resource providing a short Reflection for the year ahead. Use these short, inspiring words to request guidance or assistance for yourself and for the sake of others.