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Catholic Dictionary




1. a Jewish member of a radical, violent group bitterly opposed to Roman domination of Palestine. The group was especially active during the century in which Christ lived on earth. The present-day use of the word "zealot," to mean a fanatical enthusiast, derives from this group's name; 2. Simon was one of the Twelve Apostles. He was referred to in the New Testament as Simon the Zealot (Luke 6:15) to distinguish him from Simon Peter. He had probably been a member of the Jewish group until his conversion to Christianity. (Etym. Latin zelotes; from Greek z_l_t_s; from z_los, zeal.)