Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 18: St. Simon the Zealot/Ash Wednesday

Special Note: 

Today is Ash Wednesday. While this is not a Holy Day of Obligation, going to Mass is a perfect way to start Lent. Remember that today is also a day of abstinence (no meat or anything made with meat like beef broth) and fasting (one small meal and two snacks to replace other meals with no eating between, limited to healthy people from teens to age 59 who are not pregnant, breastfeeding, suffering a chronic illness or manual laborers who need good meals in order to work). If you like, take a selfie featuring the ashes you receive and post it on social media sites with the hashtag #ashtag. 
St. Simon the Zealot

History

Tradition tells us that Simon was a cousin to the Lord Jesus Christ, and some people say that it was his wedding that the Lord attended in John 2, when He did His first public miracle. Simon is called “the zealot” because of his firm faith in Jesus that could not be shaken. After Saint James, who was bishop of Jerusalem, was martyred, Simon was chosen to take his place. Even though the Christians in Jerusalem had to flee to another town because of a civil war, their numbers grew under Simon’s leadership. 

Activity

Read the story of the Wedding at Cana in John 2 and think about what Simon must have felt like to see his own cousin revealed a the Christ! 

Saint Simon the Zealot, pray for us!

More reading for parents:

Catholic Encyclopedia