In 1922 a Greek orphan boy named Symeon came together with the refugees from Asia Minor. He settled in Piraeusat a small shed and it was there where he grew up all alone. He had a small trolley and he worked as a porter transferring things to Piraeus’ port. He was illiterate and he did not know much about our Christian faith. He had the blessed simplicity and the simple and not curious faith.
When he reached manhood, he got married and had two children and moved with his family to Nikaea. Every morning he would go toPiraeus’ port to get a living. Yet, he used to drop by Saint Spyridon’s church every morning. He would get inside and stand in front of the temple and after taking off his hat he said: ‘Good morning, my Christ, it’s Symeon. Help me to earn my daily bread ’. In the evening, after he finished his work, he would again go round the church and stand in front of the temple saying: ‘Good evening, my Christ, it’s Symeon. Thank you for helping me today too’. In this way, blessed Symeon’s life continued.
Around the year 1950 all his family members fell ill with tuberculosis and as a result they fell asleep in the Lord. Symeon was left all alone but continued his work without complaining and what is more, he did not neglect to go over Saint Spyridon to say good morning and good evening to Christ, asking for His help and giving thanks to Him.
When Symeon grew old, he fell sick. He went to hospital and stayed there for about a month. A head nurse from Patras asked him once:
-Grandpa, you’ve been so many days in here and nobody has come to see you. Don’t you have family in the world?
-Christ comes, my child, every morning and evening and comforts me.
-And what does He tell you, grandpa?
-“Good morning, Symeon, it’s Christ, be patient”. “Good evening, Symeon, it’s Christ, be patient.”
The head nurse was taken aback and invited her spiritual Father, Christodoulos Phasos, to come and see Symeon in case he had been in error. Father Christodoulos visited him and had a chat with him. He raised the head nurse’s question and Symeon gave him the same answer. Christ visited Symeon at the same time every morning and evening that Symeon used to go to the church and greeted Christ. The spriritual Father asked him:
-Perhaps, is it only your imagination?
-No, father, I am not out of my mind, it’s Christ.
-Has He come today?
-Yes, He has.
-And what did He tell you?
-Good morning Symeon, it’s Christ. Be patient and in three days’ time I will take you with me early in the morning.
The spiritual Father went to the hospital every day and he talked with him so he learnt about his life. He realized that it was the case of a blessed person. Early in the morning on the third day he went to see Symeon again so as to find out if the prediction of his death would come true. Indeed, as they were talking, Symeon suddenly shouted: “Christ has come” and he fell asleep in peace.
May his memory be eternal. Amen.
Ascetics living in the world, A’ (Ασκητές μέσα στον κόσμο Α΄), Holy Mountain 2008, pp. 349-351