July 27th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Simon the Stylite +459 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Shem'un Destonoyo was born in the village of Sesan, a place on the border of Cicilia & Syria in 392AD. His father's name was John & his mother's name was Martha. Before his mother had conceived of him, St. John the Baptist appeared to her in a dream & told her of her conception & what her son would become. Simon was a shepherd at a young age. While in the fields with his flock, an angel of the Lord appeared in a vision. Later, he disposed of his property & assets.
St. Simon spent about forty years on a pillar upon the hilltop. He prayed, “O Lord, my God, let not the hands of mortal men be necessary for my help. Let not me step down from this pillar to see men on earth. Help me O Lord to end my life on this pillar on which I ascended by your grace. According to Thy will, accompany the soul of Thy servant from this place.” He preached to many people, taught them, & brought many back to the knowledge of Christ. He would write letters of instruction to those gathered. After his death in 459AD, his body was taken to Antioch in great veneration & entombed in a church there. While Chalcedonians claim him to be a supporter of Chalcedon, Syriac letters in the British Museum written by Mor Shem'un Destonoyo indicate that he was a Miaphysite & opposed the result of the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD. He is honored in the 5th Dypthic (Thubden d-Qadishe) every Sunday in the Syriac Orthodox Church.
A large complex was built in his honour comprising of 4 separate cathedrals with the pillar of Mor Shem'un as the central monument. Now known as Qalat Siman. It was a prominent pilgrimage site. It suffered major damage following an earthquake. Later it was sacked following the Muslim conquest of Syria. In 2011 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2012 it was taken over by terrorists. It was again heavily damaged by air strikes in 2016. #syriacorthodox #syriacorthodoxchurch #syrianorthodox #syrianorthodoxchurch #syriac #orthodox #patriarch #antioch #malankara #jacobite #knanaya #suryoyo #suryoye #christian #bible