Simeon of Syracuse, St.

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Byzantine monk, recluse at Trier, Germany; b. Syracuse, Sicily, ca. 970; d. Trier, June 1, 1035. At the age of seven he moved to Constantinople, where his father, a Greek, held a military position. After considerable success in studies, he journeyed to Jerusalem and at Bethlehem was ordained deacon. He then entered the monastery of Mt. Sinai. In 1027 his abbot sent him to collect alms promised by Duke Richard of Normandy. Near Alexandria he was almost killed by pirates, but he escaped to Antioch, where he was well received by the patriarch. There he met Richard, Abbot of verdun-sur-meuse, on his way to the Holy Land. On Richard's return, Simeon traveled with him to Rome and then arrived in Verdun about the end of October 1027. After visiting the Duke of Normandy, he went to Trier with Eberwin, abbot of Saint-Martin in Trier, whom he had also met in Antioch. In 1028 he accompanied Abp. Poppo of Trier to the Holy Land. On their return, ca. 1030, Simeon established himself as a hermit in a tower near the Porta Nigra in Trier. There he died, and according to letters of Pope Benedict IX to Abp. Poppo, he seems to have been canonized about Christmas of that same year. His life, written by Abbot Eberwin, is noted for its authenticity, and is a valuable historical source for precrusade pilgrim routes (see itineraria).

Feast: June 1.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum June 1:85104. p. thomsen, "Der heilige Symeon von Trier," Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästinavereins 62 (1939) 144161. h. dauphin, Le Bienheureux Richard: Abbé de Saint-Vanne de Verdun (Louvain 1946). m. coens, "Un Document inédit sur le culte de S. Syméon moine d'Orient et reclus à Trèves," b. de gaiffier, Analecta Bollandiana 68 (1950) 181196.

[g. t. dennis]