October 13, 2023

Encomium to our Venerable and God-bearing Father Symeon the New Theologian (St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite) - 1 of 9

Encomium to our Venerable and God-bearing Father 
Symeon the New Theologian

By St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

1. Today common joy in all the world has arisen; today secret gladness in the ecumene has shone forth; today spiritual rejoicing has taken possession of all in Christ's Church. For what? And why? For the bright feast and for the luminous festival of Saint Symeon the New Theologian. For heaven above rejoices and the whole triumphant Church of the firstborn celebrates with all the orders of the Angels, with the guilds of the Patriarchs and Forefathers; with the companies of the Prophets, with the choruses of the Apostles, with the assemblies of the Martyrs, with the multitudes of Hierarchs and Theologians; with the choirs of the Venerables and with the army of all the Righteous and Saints of past ages inscribed in the heavens, because in the midst of these the blessed soul and the most-divine spirit of the sacred Symeon has been received all-bright and full of light.

2. Similarly, the earth below rejoices and the entire militant Church of the Orthodox celebrates with all the ranks of the Patriarchs, the High Priests, the Priests, the monastics, the Kings, the senators, the rulers and all the people, because she possesses in herself as precious treasures, as heirlooms of golden pearls and as spiritual wealth, and she cherishes and enjoys the divinely inspired and luminous and melodious writings of Symeon. And through this common joy of heaven and earth, the life-giving and all-holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the God of all, who graced, who glorified and who magnified Saint Symeon himself, who on earth possessed so many supernatural and superhuman gifts, translocated to the heavens with so many unspeakable glories of blessedness.

3. For this reason let us also rejoice spiritually today, brethren, let us applaud with hymns and spiritual songs and let us praise the all-revered feast and the joyful memory of our God-bearing father Symeon, for he is not only righteous - for the memory of the righteous must be accompanied by encomiums, as Solomon said: "We remember the righteous with praises" (Prov. 10:7), - but he is also wise and a great theologian. And the wise and theologians should likewise be praised according to the saying of Solomon: "A wise mouth is praised by a man" (Prov. 12:8).

4. Let us also be glad with the triumphant Church of the firstborn above in the heavens, rejoicing for the unspeakable glory and for the inconceivable and secret goods of blessedness, "which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man" (1 Cor. 2:9), according to Paul, which the luminous soul of the sacred Symeon enjoys today, and rejoices and is glad with all the immaterial spirits of the blessed around the throne of the three-sunned Divinity.

5. Let us also be glad with the militant Church of the Orthodox on the earth below, rejoicing with her for the spiritual treasures of the writings of the Saint obtained, but rather let us also, brethren, indulge ourselves and enjoy these spiritual treasures studying the words of the divine Symeon day and night, so that we may be like the scribe whom the Lord mentions in the Gospel, saying: "Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old" (Matt. 13:52). He calls "new" the meanings of the New Testament, while the "old" is the Old Testament, which are richly found in the writings of the Saint, and which he richly puts into poetry what is being read. And, above all, let us gather from the meadow of the divine scriptures and the writings of the sacred Fathers, beautiful flowers and most-fragrant roses, that is, theological meanings and spiritual words, and forming from these the smallest crown let us crown the theological peak of our sacred father Symeon with it, and indebted to his venerable majesty let us praise him, proving that he surpassed all the stages and ranks of the saved and reached the perfection possible for humans.


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