Saint Simeon was one of the Lord's first cousins. His father was Cleophas, Joseph's brother and husband of the Mary at the cross on good Friday, and his mother, according to some writers, was Mary's sister but that would make Mary, Mary's sister. Same name in one family? Perhaps according to the Bible record, they are probably sisters in law. He is supposed to have been born about eight years before Jesus. Simeon was probably also among the brethren of Christ mentioned in the Acts as having received the Holy Ghost on Pentecost. Epiphanius says that when the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser, his brother Simeon upbraided them for their cruelty.

Simeon had probably assisted his cousin James the Just, the Lord's half brother, in the ministration of the Jerusalem Church. After James was murdered in 62 by Ananias, the high priest, the apostles and disciples afterwards met to appoint a successor as bishop of Jerusalem, and they unanimously chose Simeon. Simeon would have remained as Bishop of Jerusalem at least until the year 65 or 66 when the Jewish uprising began and the Christians fled to Pella. The Christians in Jerusalem were forewarned by Jesus to flee when they saw Jerusalem encompassed by armies and knew of the impending destruction of the temple and city.

We are told that they did return after the destruction of Jerusalem and settled among the ruins until the Emperor Hadrian afterwards entirely razed it. We are told by St. Epiphanius and by Eusebius that the church here flourished greatly, and many Jews were converted by the miracles wrought by the saints. Vespasian and Domitian had ordered the destruction of all who were of the race of David but Saint Simeon had escaped them. However by the time Emperor Trajan was in power from 98 to 117, he gave a similar injunction and Simeon was denounced as being not only one of David's descendants, but also a Christian. Simeon was brought before Atticus, the Roman governor and condemned to death. After being tortured, Simeon was crucified. He was extremely old, about 120 and endured his sufferings with a degree of fortitude which roused the admiration of Atticus himself. His feast day is February 18 in the west and September 18 in the east.
[18, Catholic Online]

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