3 August 2021 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
The Venerable Simeon and John
These two young men left their homes and relatives: Simeon, his aged mother and John, his young wife. Both received the monastic tonsure at the hands of the Abbot Nicon in the Monastery of St. Gerasimus and withdrew into the wilderness where they lived an austere life of asceticism for many years. Through rigorous asceticism, they mortified their bodies so much that they resembled two withered trees. One day Simeon said to John that, according to God’s command, he must depart from the wilderness and go among the people and there serve God. John gave him this counsel: “Guard our heart against all that you will see in the world. Whatever you touch with your hand, do not allow it to touch your heart. Whatever you eat with your mouth, let not your heart be satisfied. When your feet begin to walk, let there be peace within you. And whatever you do outwardly, let not your mind remain disturbed. Pray to God for me, that He does not separate us, one from the other, in the future life.” St. Simeon accepted the counsel of his companion, kissed him and, after that, departed the wilderness and went among the people as a “fool for Christ,” to teach men and to convert them to the Faith of Christ. He pretended insanity before men but his heart was the temple of the Holy Spirit and, in that temple, was unceasing prayer. He possessed abundant grace from God and was able to discern all the inner secrets of men, both near and far, healing men from evil spirits and other ailments. Dancing in the streets as one insane, he approached men and whispered their sins in their ears and called them to repentance. He even appeared to sinners in dreams, rebuked them for their sins and called them to repentance. Thus it was with Bali, a pagan actor, who openly mocked Christian shrines and to whom St. Simeon appeared in a dream, rebuked and warned him so that he repented and became a model Christian. A young fornicator went out of his mind because of sexual promiscuity. Seeing this insane young man, St. Simeon struck him across the face with his hand and said: “Do not commit fornication.” At that moment the unclean demon departed from the young man and he became well.
The Blessed Augustine Gazotich
Born in Trau, Dalmatia, c. 1260-1262; died 1323; cultus reconfirmed by Pope Clement XI in 1702. Augustine was born into a wealthy family who provided him with an excellent education. At 18, he and an Italian friend headed to the Dominican novitiate in France. Augustine spent most of his life battling heresy: In his native Dalmatia, he fought the Manichæen heresy; in Sicily, Islam; in Hungary both. Several charming miracles are related about Augustine. The river water of Zagreb was unfit to drink, so the Dominican fathers asked Augustine to pray for a new supply. At his prayer a fountain sprang up in the yard of the convent, abundantly supplying their needs. Augustine was transferred from Zagreb to Lucera (Nocera), Sicily. Here he continued his holy government, using his characteristic gentleness and his gift of healing. He promoted devotion to Saints Dominic, Thomas Aquinas, and Peter Martyr–all brother Dominicans. Feeling that he was near death, he returned to the Dominican convent in Nocera to die among his brethren. Under his statue in the cathedral of Nocera is the legend, “Sanctus Augustine Episcopus Lucerinus Ordinis Praedicatorum,” an indication of the veneration in which he is held.