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Wednesday 8 October 2014
'Venerable, aged Simeon'
I was surprised to see that the entries for the saints of October 8 begin in the Martyrology of Gorman with this lovely verse in praise of Saint Simeon:
Símeon sruith saeglac[h]
ro gab Ísu ollán,
ar gecaib a gellamh
'Venerable, aged Simeon
who received great ample Jesus
on the branches of his white arms'.
A commentator has added in Latin 'ipse accepit eum in ulnas suas, Luc. ii. 28'. I could not find Saint Simeon commemorated on this day in any of the other Irish calendars, and as he is commemorated in the East on February 3, I wondered where the 12th-century Irish calendarist, Marianus O'Gorman, sourced this October feastday. The translator of the Martyrology of Gorman, Whitley Stokes, does not comment on this particular feast in his discussion of the Biblical saints found on this calendar but notes that 'Gorman, as a rule, agrees with the western martyrologies'. And indeed the Roman Martyrology at October 8 records: 'The same day, the birthday of the blessed Simeon, an aged man, who, as we read in the Gospel, took our Lord Jesus in his arms'.
I will close with the Song of Simeon in Irish, taken from the translation of the New Testament by Canon Coslett Quinn:
A Thiarna, is anois a cheadaíonn tú do do sheirbhíseach imeacht faoi shíocháin, de réir do bhriathair;
mar tá mo shúile d'eis do shlánú a fheiceáil,
an slánú a réamhullmhaigh tú os comhair na gciníocha uile,
an solas a tharbharfadh eolas ort do na Gintlithe,
agus an solas a bheadh ina ghlóir do do mhuintir Iosrael.
Lúcás II, 29-32.
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