† Holy and Righteous Symeon the God-receiver and the Prophetess Anna
"There is an ancient tradition that the holy, righteous elder Symeon, who came from Egypt, was one of the Seventy learned Jews chosen in the days of the Pharoah Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-246 BC) for the task of rendering the Hebrew Bible into Greek, and that to Symeon was assigned the translation of the book of the Prophet Isaiah.
When he reached the famous passage where the Prophet foretells the virgin birth of Christ, saying: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (Is. 7:14), he was so perplexed that he took a penknife to erase the word 'virgin' in order to replace it by 'young woman'.
At that moment, an angel of God appeared and prevented him from altering the sacred text, explaining that what seemed impossible to him was, in fact, a prophecy of the coming into this world of the Son of God.
To confirm the
truth of this, he promised that Symeon would not see
death until he had seen and touched the Messiah born of the Virgin. When, after
many long years, Christ was brought into the
He hurried to
For indeed, the
Elder Symeon was the living image of the ancient
"The prophetess Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, was eighty-four years old. Since the early death
of her husband, she had spent her whole life in the
She is the
pattern for holy widows, virgins and monks, who have freed themselves of
worldly cares in order to dwell always in the
And when, like
Anna and Symeon, they have seen the indwelling Christ
with the eyes of their heart and touched Him through their spiritual senses,
they proclaim with joy and assurance to all mankind that the Saviour is still
coming into the world: A light to lighten the Gentiles
and the glory of His people
Sources: Ancient Faith Radio