Sainted Simeon, Bishop of Tver'

Commemorated on February 3

      Sainted Simeon, Bishop of Tver', was the seventh bishop of Polotsk and the first bishop of the Tver' diocese. He was descended from the lineage of the Polotsk princes. The cathedra of the saint was first at Polotsk, but hostile attacks and conflicts with the Lithuanian princes, and the murder in 1263 of the Polotsk prince his kinsman, compelled him to relocate to Tver'. (The Tver' prince Yaroslav Yaroslavich had at this time become GreatPrince of Russia, and chose Tver' as his ruling city).
      Blessed Simeon was well-disposed and kind to the down-trodden and destitute, attentive to the monastic and priests orders, and fearsome to the affront of truth.
      The Nikonov Chronicle relates, that this sainted bishop was "knowledgeable about medicine, and well versed in the books of Holy Scripture; he was a teacher, and virtuous, concerned for the needy and orphans widows, defending the down-trodden and delivering the oppressed".
      History preserves for us a conversation of saint Simeon with the Polotsk prince Konstantin who, wishing to make a jest about his court, asked the saint at supper: "Where shalt be the courts in that world?" Simeon answered: "The court shalt be there, where likewise shalt be the prince".
      The prince did not fancy this, and he said: "A court might judge unjustly, and take bribes, or torture people, and is it I that do the harm?" Vladyka explained to him: "If a prince be good and God-fearing, he is concerned for the people, he loves truth and he appoints on his council good and God-fearing men, intelligent and truth-loving, that prince shalt be in paradise and his court with him. If however a prince be without the fear of God, he is not concerned for christians and he does not think of orphans and widows, and he appoints wicked counselors lacking integrity and only to bring him money..., that prince shalt be in hell and his court with him".
      Sainted Simeon died on 3 February 1289.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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