Ordinary Time: February 18th
Friday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Other Commemorations: St. Simeon, bishop and martyr; St. Tarasius, bishop and martyr (RM) ; Other Titles: Taraisius
According to the former liturgical calendar (1962), today is the commemoration of St. Simeon, bishop and martyr. He was successor to the Apostle St. James in the See of Jerusalem and was arrested and probably crucified in about A.D. 110, under the emperor Trajan. He ruled over the Church of Jerusalem for forty years.Today The Roman Martyrology also includes Saint Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople, born c. 750, who was known for his erudition and piety. He fought against the iconoclast heresy, helped open the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, which honored holy pictures and images. He died of natural causes on February 25, 806, which is his feast day in the Byzantine Rite.
A blood relative of Christ, he was martyred in early apostolic times. Succeeding the apostle James, Simeon, the son of Cleophas, was, it may be said, the first bishop of Jerusalem. Under the Emperor Trajan he was arraigned before Atticus, the governor, on charges of being a Christian and a relative of Jesus. For at a certain period, all descendants of David were apprehended. After enduring all types of torture, he was affixed to a cross, even as His Savior. Those present marveled how a man of such advanced age (he was 120 years old) could so steadfastly and joyously bear the excruciating pains of crucifixion. He died on the 18th of February, 106 A.D.
- In the spirit of the blind man in today's Gospel and mindful of St. Simeon's joy upon his martyrdom, pray for vision to see the Crucified Christ in all your struggles.
- Saint Josemaria Escriva recommends that the serious Christian carry with him a small crucifix, which he may keep before himself at all times. In your case, this may be the kitchen, the office, the classroom, or any place in which you are fulfilling your duties. When it becomes difficult to persevere, look upon Christ and be reminded of the value of your small trials.
- Read this account of the martyrdom of St. Simeon by St. Eusebius of Caesarea.
- If you are interested in genealogy you might like to read about the genealogy of Christ at New Advent.
St. Tarasius of Constantinople
Tarasius was born at Constantinople in the middle of the eighth century, of a noble family. His mother, Eucratia, brought him up in the practice of the most eminent virtues. By his talents and virtue, he gained the esteem of all, and was raised to the greatest honors of the empire, made first a Consul and afterward first Secretary of State to the Emperor Constantine IV and the Empress Irene, his mother. In the midst of the court and in its highest honors, he led a life like that of a religious.
- Read more about St. Tarasius on EWTN.