Born: Early first century
Died: mid-Late first century
FEast: Oct. 28th
craft artisans, woodworkers, leather
workers, protests, revolutionaries
Simon is sometimes known as the "mystery apostle" because very little is known about him. He is mentioned each time in the lists of the 12 apostles, with the term "Kananaois" meaning "zealous", to distinguish him from Simon Peter. This could mean that he was either deeply devoted to his Jewish faith, or that he was part of the Zealots, which were a Jewish revolutionary group aiming to overthrow their Roman oppressors. As with several other apostles, it is also unclear whether or not Simon was related to Jesus by blood because of the commonality of the name.
Nothing else is written of him in the New Testament books, and we have no references to know what he did or where he went after Jesus' Ascension. Some suggest that he was bishop of Jerusalem and was martyred there or in Rome. Almost all other plausible places have been suggested as the lands to which he went to preach. It is also unknown where he died, whether or not he was martyred (and how, if so), and where he was buried. In the Golden Legend, he and St. Jude were traveling partners and were killed in Lebanon or Persia around the year 65. He is often pictured holding a saw because it states he was martyred there by being sawed in half.
you were a Zealot, ready to overthrow your oppressors by any means possible, even violence, that all changed when you met Jesus. Show us, though, how virtuous and necessary it is for us to be involved in politics. Show us how to create change with the opportunities given to us. Amen.
I have always loved the idea of Simon being the fiery one of the group, ready to take action. All his references for this icon come from images of people at protests.