Prayer of St. Simeon
January 2, 1992
Brother John Raymond
On February 2nd we celebrate the Feast of Our Lord's presentation
in the Temple at Jerusalem. It became a feast for the Church about
the year 390. It began in Jerusalem and spread throughout the Near
East. The Armenians call it the "Coming of the Son of God into the
Temple." In the Greek Church it was called "The Meeting of the Lord"
to commemorate Jesus meeting Simeon and Anna. The Chaldeans and
Syrians even today call this day the "Feast of Simeon the Old Man."
The Christians of the Near East used this name for the feast because
they believe that Simeon, having seen the Savior, died on the same
We see how God answered Simeon's persevering prayer to see the
Savior before he died. By God's design he was in the Temple on this
day and by a special inspiration recognized more than just a poor
couple with a child coming up the steps of the Temple. We are told
from a mystic, Venerable Mary of Agreda, that Simeon knew Mary when
She lived at the Temple as a child. He was a priest of the Temple.
Simeon was filled with joy to hold this long-awaited Savior in his
arms. Who knows how many years he had prayed for this great grace?
The prayer to God that St. Simeon uttered on this occasion is
still prayed daily in the Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office of
the Church. His prayer to God forms part of the prayers for Compline
(Night Prayer). This prayer of Simeon is a good one to say at the
end of each day.
"Lord, now you let your servant go in peace. Your word has been
fulfilled. My own eyes have seen the salvation which You have
prepared in the sight of every people. A light to reveal You to the
nations and the glory of Your people Israel. Amen."