Praying to Saints and Folk Magic: Vecchio Simeone Santo

Charles G. Leland in Etruscan Roman Remains, 1892, discussed S. Vecchio Simeone or the Vecchio Simeone Santo, "St. Simon the Old." He was mentioned in Luke 2:34 as blessing the holy family when they brought Jesus to be circumcised. As Simon recognized the Savor, who was just eight days old, he is a prophetic saint who communicated with petitioners in dreams.

He seems to have been conflated with Simeone Mago, Simon Magus, and possibly other Simons, including Simon the Canaanite,Simon of Cyrene, and Simon Peter. (Some Christian legends claimed Simon Magus, due to his magic, was venerated as a deity. One legend claimed that there was a statue dedicated to Simon Magus, inscribed Simoni Deo Sancto, "To Simon the Holy God.". In fact, the statue later unearthed on the site in question was inscribed to Semo Sancus, a Sabine deity assocated with oaths.)

According to Leland, if a person wished pray to Vecchio Simeone Santo, she or he took either a statuette or picture of the great and benificent saint to the cellar to pray in private at midnight for three consecutive nights.

The prayer which Leland provided from a prayer card was:

O gloriossissimo S. Vecchio Simeone che meritaste ed aveste la bella sorte di ricevere e portare nella vostre fortuate braccie il Divin Pargolette Gesu--E le annunziaste e profetiziaste e le vostre Profezie furono sante verita--Oh Santo concedetomi la grazia che vi addomando. Amen.
This Italian prayer may be translated as:
O most glorious Santo Vecchio Simeone (Saint Simon the Old) you deserved and you had the good fortune to receive and carry in your arms, Fortunate Divin Pargolette Gesu (Jesus the Divine), and you announced and prophesied and your prophecies were holy truth - O Santo (Saint) I ask you concede to me grace as you did demand. Amen.
Judika Illes in her Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints & Sages: A Guide to Asking for Protection, Wealth, Happiness, and Everything Else!, 2011, wrote this about the prayer: "This particular novena assumes that Saint Simon was the man who circumcised the baby Jesus and also references his great prophetic abilities. Extremely roughly and briefly translated, it means: 'Oh glorious Old Saint Simon, who merited the good fortune to recieve and hold in your arms the divine baby Jesus, please grant me the favor I ask.'" (p. 646)

Supposedly the saint may appear in a dream as a stern or sullen old man, often clad as an ancient holy man, magus, or priest. A petitioner must recite the novena perfectly--probably in Italian--without missing a syllable. When Santo Vecchio Simeone appears in a dream, he asks the reason for being called. The petitioner must answer promptly. If he does so, the saint may fulfill almost any request. However, if the petitioner does not answer promptly and without fear, the saint may respond with a resounding slap before departing.

The knowledge this prophetic saint was principally credited with bestowing was lucky numbers in the lottery.

In other Catholic lore, St. Simon is frequenly honored with St. Jude, as they share the same feast day, Oct. 28. Theoretically a prayer to St. Simon could be offered with a Novena to St. Jude requesting insights and assistance for financial need.

To honor St. Simon and St. Jude together light two green or white candles with some mint in between them.

St. Jude in particular was petitioned to provide help to those who are in desparate need.

Useful Prayers: Novena to St. Jude
Useful Prayers: Prayer of St. Simon the Old Useful Prayers: Prayer to Simon of Cyrene"

Myth's Notes

If anyone has any more information about prayers to Il Vecchio Simeone Santo, please send your comments and opinions to Myth Woodling,

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