6 June 2020 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
Our Holy Father Simeon Stylites of the Wonderful Mountain
This wonderful and holy man was born in Antioch in 522, in the reign of the Emperor Justin I the Elder. His father perished in an earthquake and he was left alone with his mother, Martha. When he was six years old, he went away into the desert to John, a spiritual teacher there and, under his guidance, gave himself to a strict asceticism of fasting and prayer, to the wonderment of all who saw him. Whilst enduring fearful demonic trials, he received great comfort and grace from the Lord and His angels. Christ the Lord appeared to him in the form of a handsome youth, and, after this vision, Simeon’s heart was inflamed with great love for Christ. He spent many years on a pillar, praying and singing psalms. Led by God, he took himself off to the mountain called `Wonderful’ by the Lord Himself, and is known as `of the Wonderful Mountain’ because of this. The measure of his love for God was such that rare grace was given him, by the help of which he was able to heal every sort of illness, tame wild beasts and perceive the most distant regions of the earth and the hearts of men. He was taken out of the body and saw the heavens, conversed with angels, harried the demons, prophesied, spent thirty days at a time without sleep and even longer without food, receiving nourishment at the hands of angels. The words of the Saviour: `He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do’ (Jn 14:12), were completely fulfilled in him. In the year 596, at the age of seventy-five, Simeon went to the Lord, to the eternal enjoyment of the vision of the face of God in the company of the angels.
St. Norbert was born at Xanten in the Rhineland, about the year 1080. The early part of his life was devoted to the world and its pleasures. He entered upon the ecclesiastical state in a worldly spirit. The thunderstorm had boiled up suddenly as Norbert was out riding. Norbert, who had always chosen the easy way, would never have deliberately gone on a journey that promised danger, risk, or discomfort. He had moved easily from the comforts of the noble family he was born into at about 1080 to the pleasure loving German court. He had no hesitations about joining in any opportunity to enjoy himself, no matter what the source of that pleasure. To ensure his success at court, he also had no qualms about accepting holy orders as a canon and whatever financial benefices that came with that position, although he did hesitate at becoming a priest and the implied responsibilities that came with that vocation. When two rival popes were elected after the death of Honorius II, Norbert helped try to heal the Church by getting his admirer the emperor to support the first elected, Innocent II. At the end of his life he was made an archbishop but he died soon after on June 6, 1134 at the age of 53.