St. Simeon the God-Receiver


This icon originates from the hospital church of the Transfiguration Monastery.  The icon has a hollow area in the lower left corner where ailing monks stored relics of St. Simeon.  The relics were stored there with the belief that they would aid the monks as they regained their strength.

The icon is based on the story of St. Simeon, who was one of the seventy scholars summoned by Egyptian King Ptolemy to translate the Holy Scriptures into Greek. The completed work was called “The Septuagint,” and is the version of the Old Testament used by the Orthodox Church.

St. Simeon was translating a book of the Prophet Isaiah, and read the words: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a Son” (Isaiah 7:14). He thought that “virgin” was inaccurate, and he wanted to correct the text to read “woman.” At that moment an angel appeared to him and held back his hand saying, “You shall see these words fulfilled. You shall not die until you behold Christ the Lord born of a pure and spotless Virgin.” Tradition says he died at the great age of 360 after he received the infant Christ in the Temple of Jerusalem.