Simeon Stylites the Younger

Saint Simeon Stylites the Younger, also known as Simeon of the Admirable Mountain (Greek: Συμεὼν ὁ νεώτερος ὁ στυλίτης, Arabic: مار سمعان العمودي الأصغر mār semʻān l-ʻamūdī l-asghar) (521 – 596/597), is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Catholic Churches of Eastern and Latin Rites.


Simeon Stylites

the Younger
Simeon Stylites the Younger.jpg
Died24 May 596 or 597
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern Orthodox Church


Stylites were solitaries who, taking up their abode upon the tops of a pillar (stylos), chose to spend their days amid the restraints thus entailed and in the exercise of other forms of asceticism.[1]

Simeon was born at Antioch in 521. His father, John, was a native of Edessa, his mother, named Martha was afterwards revered as a saint.[2] When Simeon was six years of age, his father was killed in an earthquake, after which he and his mother moved to the outskirts of the city.[3]

Like his namesake, the first Stylites, Simeon seems to have been drawn very young to a life of austerity. He attached himself to a community of ascetics living within the mandra or enclosure of another pillar-hermit, named John, who acted as their spiritual director. Simeon while still only a boy had a pillar erected for himself close to that of John. In a letter to Thomas, guardian of the true cross at Jerusalem, Simeon states that he was living upon a pillar when he lost his first teeth. In the course of this period, however, he several times moved to a new pillar, and on the occasion of the first of these exchanges the Patriarch of Antioch and the Bishop of Seleucia ordained him deacon during the short space of time he spent upon the ground. For his efforts, Simeon received from God the gift of healing.[3] For eight years until John died, Simeon remained near his master's column, so near that they could easily converse. During this period his austerities were kept in some sort of check by the older hermit.[2]

After John's death Simeon gave full rein to his ascetical practices. From the rising of the sun until mid-afternoon he read books and copied Holy Scripture.[3] Simeon the younger was ordained priest and was thus able to offer the Holy Sacrifice in memory of his mother. On such occasions his disciples one after another climbed up the ladder to receive Communion at his hands. As in the case of most of the other pillar saints a large number of miracles were believed to have been worked by Simeon the Younger. In several instances the cure was effected by pictures representing him. Evagrius was an eye-witness to many marvels, and says that he had experienced himself Simeon's knowledge of the thoughts of others when he visited him for spiritual advice.[4] Simeon maintained this kind of life for 68 years. Towards the close of his life the saint occupied a column upon a mountainside near Antioch called the "Hill of Wonders" (due to his miracles), also known as the "Wondrous Mountain" or the "Admirable Mountain"; this mountain is known today as Saman Dağı and is located near the town of Samandağ, Turkey.[5] It was here that he died in 596.[1]

Besides the letter mentioned, several writings are attributed to the younger Simeon. There is also an "Apocalypse" and letters to the Emperors Justinian I and Justin II. More especially Simeon was the reputed author of a certain number of liturgical hymns.[2]


The Monastery of St. Simeon Stylites the Younger commemorates Simeon and marks the last of several pillars on top of which he lived during his life. According to one account, he lived on this pillar for the final 45 years of his long life and preached from the top of it. Miraculous healing were attributed to him and he was venerated as a saint even while he was still alive. The Emperor Maurice of Constantinople held him in great esteem.[6] The sick people he had healed built a church in gratitude. Until the thirteenth century the place was a pilgrimage destination.

The Wellcome Collection has a tempera on wood painting by an unknown artist of Saint Simeon Stylites the Younger.[7]

St. Simeon of the Wonderful Mountain Church, a Russian Orthodox church in Dresden, Germany, is named after him.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Thurston, Herbert. "Stylites (Pillar Saints)." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 9 December 2021   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ a b c Thurston, Herbert. "St. Simeon Stylites the Younger." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 9 December 2021   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b c "Venerable Simeon Stylites the Younger of Wonderful Mountain", Orthodox Church in America
  4. ^ Butler, Alban. "Saint Simeon Stylites, the Younger". Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 August 2014   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ Della Dora, Veronica (2016). Landscape, Nature, and the Sacred in Byzantium. Cambridge. ISBN 978-1-316-48838-6. OCLC 938434170.
  6. ^ Monks of Ramsgate. "Simeon Stylites the Younger". Book of Saints 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 September 2016   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ "Saint Simeon Stylites the Younger", Wellcome Collection

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Simeon Stylites the Younger". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

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