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Simon (Simeon) of Trent


Alleged boy martyr; d. Trent, Italy, March 23, 1475. Son of a tawer, he was found murdered near his home at the age of 20 or 30 months, allegedly by Jews during the celebration of the Pasch on Maundy Thursday. Upon discovery of the body, a trial was instigated; the proceedings, assembled by Bp. John Hinderbach and approved by Pope Sixtus IV on June 20, 1478, who suspended Simon's cult, are not considered reliable inasmuch as torture was employed to exact testimony. Numerous miracles were attributed to the boy (curing of the dumb, the blind, and the paralyzed, and restoration to life of the dead), which led to the Pope Sixtus V's authorization for the continuation of his cultus (1588). He was probably considered a saint, and his feast day was celebrated annually at his tomb in the church of St. Peter at Trent, until the cult was forbidden by order of Abp. A. M. Gottardi of Trent (Oct. 28, 1965) and his name removed from the Roman Martyrology. This is the unique example of ritual child murder recognized in the Martyrology; it was first listed as a commemoration in a missal in 1487 and picked up in a martyrology dated 1584. The incident still awaits critical historical investigation.

See Also: medieval boy martyrs.

Bibliography: j. m. tiberinus, Die Geschicht vnd Legend von dem seyligen Kind vnd Marterer genannt Symon, von den Juden zu Trientt gemarteret vnd getöttet (Augsburg after April 4, 1475) u. pusculus, Brixieñ duo libri Symonidos (Augsburg 1511). b. bena. anau, Sefer Masa ge hizayon (s.l. 1965). l. donati, L'inizio della stampa a Trento ed il beato Simone (Trent 1968). e. s. tessadri, L'arpa di David: storia di Simone e del processo di Trento contro gli ebrei accusati di omicidio rituale (Milan 1974). a. esposito and d. quaglioni, Processi contro gli ebrei di Trento (14751478) (Padua 1990). r. p. hsia, Trent 1475: Stories of Ritual Murder Trial (New Haven 1992). w. treue, Der Trienter Judenprozess: Voraussetzungen, Abläufe, Auswirkungen (Hannover 1996). Acta Sanctorum March 3:493500. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis, 2 v. (Brussels 18981901; suppl. 1911) 2:776272. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 1:671672. Analecta Bollandiana 23 (1904) 122124. i. rogger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 9:772.

[f. d. lazenby]

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