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On February 3, in the Holy Orthodox Church, we commemorate the Synaxis of the Holy and Righteous Simeon the God-receiver.

This Simeon was chosen, in the time of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.), as one of the famous Seventy to whom was committed the task of translating the Bible from the Hebrew into Greek. Simeon worked conscientiously, but when, translating the Prophet Isaiah, he came to the prophecy: 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son', he was puzzled and took a knife to scratch out the word 'virgin' and substitute 'young woman', and thus translate it into Greek. But at that moment an angel of God appeared to him and held him back from his intention, explaining to him that the prophecy was true and rightly-expressed. And to confirm its veracity, the messenger from God said that he, Simeon, by the will of God, would not die until he had seen the Messiah born of a virgin. The righteous Simeon rejoiced at these heavenly tidings, left the prophecy unchanged and thanked God that He had found him worthy to live to see the Promised One. When the Christ Child was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem by the Virgin Mary, the Spirit of God revealed this to Simeon, who was now a very old man with snow-white hair. He went quickly to the Temple and found there both the Virgin and the Child, bathed in a light that shone round their heads like a halo. The joyful elder took Christ in his arms and prayed God to let him leave this world: 'Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart...according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.' Thither came also Anna the prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, who recognised the Messiah and made Him known to the people. Anna was then 84 years old. Soon after that, St Simeon departed this life. This righteous elder is venerated as the protector of young children.

Through his intercessions, O Lord, have mercy upon us and save us. Amen.
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