July 21, 2019 Length: 1:55
These two brothers in Christ were from Edessa in Mesopotamia. After a pilgrimage to Jerusalem they fled the world together; they were tonsured as monks, but soon left their monastery to struggle in prayer near the Dead Sea. Thus they passed thirty years in silence and asceticism. Symeon was then commanded by God to leave the desert and serve God among the world's people. At their parting John said to him: 'Keep your heart from all that you see in the world. Whatever there may be that touches your hand, let it not take hold of your heart. When food passes your lips, let not your heart be sweetened by it. If your feet have to move, let there be peace within you. Whatever you do outwardly, let your mind remain tranquil. Pray for me, that God may not part us from each other in the world to come.' Symeon went to Emesa in Syria, where he spent the rest of his life, feigning madness in order to conceal his holiness from men. But he performed miracles of healing and appeared to people of the city in dreams, calling them to repentance. He was given the gift of discernment of others' inward condition, and while dancing and raving through the streets would approach people, whisper their sins in their ears, and call them to repentance. He reposed peacefully in 590; John, who had remained in the desert, reposed soon afterward.