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Meditating on the Feast of St. Symeon the New Theologian

St. Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022) is one of three saints of the Orthodox church to have been given the title of Theologian (the others are St. John the Apostle and St. Gregory Nazianzen). Born in Galatia and educated at Constantinople, he became abbot of the monastery of St. Mamas. His feast day is celebrated by some on March 12, the date of his repose, while others commemorate his feast on October 12, because March 12 falls within Great Lent.

St. Symeon was a theological poet who embodied the mystical tradition and hesychasm. He once wrote:

"When a man walks in the fear of God he knows no fear, even if he were to be surrounded by wicked men. He has the fear of God within him and wears the invincible armor of faith. This makes him strong and able to take on anything, even things which seem difficult or impossible to most people. Such a man is like a giant surrounded by monkeys, or a roaring lion among dogs and foxes. He goes forward trusting in the Lord and the constancy of his will to strike and paralyze his foes. He wields the blazing club of the Word in wisdom" (The Practical and Theological Chapters).

This feast offers us an opportunity to meditate (prayer of the mind) on the following:

Do I walk in the fear of God?

Am I fearless in the midst of the wicked?

Do I put on the invincible armor of faith?

Am I prepared to wield the blazing club of the Word?

Do I pray for the intercession of St. Symeon?

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