Leontius, Bishop of Cyprus, is well known for his life of Saint John the Almsgiver, Patriarch of Alexandria. But he also composed, from eye-witness accounts, this life of Saint Symeon of Emesa. Many years ago, our monastery’s senior translator made a memorable translation of this life from the original Greek, and we have heard it read in the refectory every year on the Saint’s feast-day, July 21. We have finally fulfilled the many requests that it be published. While it is deeply edifying and inspiring, the Saint’s exploits to make the townsfolk of Emesa think him crazy are also quite humorous, and the translation is carefully adapted to reflect both. The Introduction discusses precedents in foolishness for Christ’s sake before Saint Symeon, and an explanation of the motivations for it.
Author: Leontius, Bishop of Neapolis and Cyprus