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Friday 17 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Hildegard of Bingen
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Saint of the Day: St. Simeon Sylites

Lived as a hermit atop a pillar

Science Museum Group - Public Domain

Hermit (d. 459)

His life

+ Simeon (or Simon) Stylites was the first and most famous of the desert hermits who lived atop stone pillars.

+ His early years as a monk were marked by excessive penance and after he abandoned cenobitic (community) life to live as a hermit he set up a series of stone pillars on which he could find the solitude he desired. Simeon’s fourth and final pillar, on which he lived for the last twenty years of his life, was sixty feet high.

+ Preaching twice daily, he showed a great concern for justice, charity, and prayer.

+ After living atop pillars for thirty-seven years, Saint Simeon died on September 1, 459.

For prayer and reflection

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”—Matthew 6:33-34

Spiritual bonus

On July 27, we also remember Blessed Robert Sutton. A Protestant minister in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, England, he converted to Catholicism and was later ordained to the priesthood. Returning to England to serve the country’s persecuted Catholic population, he was eventually arrested and died as a martyr on July 27, 1588. Blessed Robert Sutton was beatified with other English martyrs in 1987.


O God, who in your kindness called your servant blessed Simeon to the following of Christ, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that, denying ourselves, we may hold fast to you with all our heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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