Blessed Simon of Yurievets

Blessed Simon of Yurievets was born in the city of Yurievets in the Povolzhsk or Volga region. Forsaken by his parents, the saint took upon himself the exploit of foolishness for Christ. Both winter and summer he went barefoot, dressed only in a shirt, so that his skin became blackened and withered from fasting.

Thoughtless people often were cruel to him, sometimes beating him. The holy fool never complained, but prayed for those who mistreated him. Blessed Simon was fond of praying on the porches of various churches. The ascetic exploit of self-denial cleansed his soul, and he received from God the gift of clairvoyance: he foresaw many things and predicted the future. Contemporaries, mentioning his name, beheld various miraculous signs.

Just before his death, the saint went to the house of the military commander Theodore Petelin. He, not knowing the saint, in a fit of anger gave orders to beat him. St Simon fell grievously ill. He summoned a priest, made his confession, received the Holy Mysteries of Christ and commended his soul to God. The commander later repented of his sin.

The city gathered for the saint’s funeral, and the body of Blessed Simon was buried in Theophany monastery. This occurred on November 4, 1584. In the year 1635, Patriarch Joasaph ordered the Theophany monastery’s Igumen Dionysius to compile an account of the life and miracles of Blessed Simon and gave a blessing to paint his icon. The Feast of Blessed Simon was established in the year 1635.