Lives of Saints - St. Symeon the Host of God and St. Anna the Prophetess Christianity - Books
“I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.                “You shall have no other gods before me.                “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.                “You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.                “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. You shall labor six days, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates; for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.                “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.                “You shall not murder.                “You shall not commit adultery.                “You shall not steal.                “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.                “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
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St. Symeon the Host of God and St. Anna the Prophetess

St. Symeon, the Host of God, was a man not only of holy spirit but of great patience as well. He was a highly intelligent scholar and a deeply religious man, who knew from his interpretation of the Old Testament that the Messiah was to come. He prayed not only for deliverance, but for the opportunity to remain alive just long enough to cast his eyes on the Messiah. This was no small request made of the Lord, for it is quite certain, although estimates vary as to his actual age, that he was born many years before Christ. St. Symeon is estimated to have been at least 150 years old at the time of the Nativity, and only because God had given him those many years in answer to his earnest prayers that he be allowed to live to that great day.

St. Symeon was one of the famous Seventy, who were chosen to translate the Bible from Hebrew into Greek in the time of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.). St. Symeon worked conscientiously, but when, translating the prophet Isaiah, he came to the prophecy: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son," he was puzzled. He took a knife to scratch out the word "virgin" and substitute "young woman," and translate it thus into Greek. But at that moment an angel of God appeared to him and held him back from his intention, explaining to him that the prophecy was true and rightly expressed. And to confirm its veracity, the messenger from God said that he, Symeon, by the will of God, would not die until he had seen the Messiah born of a virgin. The righteous Symeon rejoiced at these heavenly tidings, left the prophecy unchanged and thanked God that He had found him worthy to live to see the Promised One.

When the Christ Child was brought into the Temple in Jerusalem by the Virgin Mary, the Spirit of God revealed this to Symeon, who was now a very old man with snow-white hair. He went quickly to the Temple and found there both the Virgin and Child, bathed in a light that shone round their heads like a halo. The joyful elder took Christ in his arms and prayed to God, saying: "Lettest thou Thy servant depart in peace, O Master, according to Thy word, for my eyes have seen Thy salvation" (Lk. 2:29-30). Soon after that, St. Symeon departed this life. This righteous elder is venerated as the protector of young children.

St. Anna the prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, also came to see the child, recognizing Him as the Messiah and making Him known to the people. St. Anna was then 84 years old.

Troparion, Tone 1:
In the Temple thou didst embrace as an infant God the Word Who became flesh./ O glorious Elder Symeon, who didst hold God in thine arms./ And also as a prophetess the august Anna ascribed praise to Him./ We acclaim you as divine servants of Christ.

Kontakion, Tone 3:
Let Symeon the Righteous and Anna the Prophetess,/ that godly pair, be praised together;/ well-pleasing to God,/ they became witnesses of the Incarnate Lord./ When they saw him as an infant, they worshipped Him together.


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