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ST. SIMEON STYLITES, HERMIT OF THE PILLAR.
his mortifications. In the monastery ot Sl. Simeon Stylites. St. Telesphorus. who had spent sixty-two years so ab
Heliodorus, a man sixty-five years of age, St. Syncletia.
stracted from the world, that he was St. Simeon Styliles.
ignorant of the most obvious things in it; Alban Butler declares, that St. Simeon the monks ate but once a day : Simeon astonished the whole Roman empire by joined the community, and ate but once
week. Heliodorus required Simeon to ter at the top, so that he could not lie exbe more private in his mortifications; tended on it: he had no seat with him; * with this view,” says Butler,“ judging he only stooped or leaned to take a little the rough rope of the well, made of rest, and bowed his body in prayer so twisted palm-tree leaves, a proper instru- often, that a certain person who counted ment of penance, Simeon tied it close these positions, found that he made one about his naked body, where it remained thousand two hundred and forty-four unknown both to the community and his reverences in one day, which if he began superior, till such time as it having ate at four o'clock in the morning and finished inio his flesh, what he had privately done at eight o'clock at night, gives a bow to was discovered by the effluvia proceeding every three-quarters of a minute; befrom the wound.” Butler says, that it sides which he exhorted the people twice took three days to disengage the saint's a day. His garments were the skins of clothes, and that “the incisions of the beasts, he wore an iron collar round his physician, to cut the cord out of his body, neck, and had a horrible ulcer in his were attended with such anguish and foot. During his forty days' abstinence pain, that he lay for some time as dead.” throughout Lent, he tied himself to a pole. After this he determined to pass the whole He treated himself as the outcast of the forty days of Lent in total abstinence, world and the worst of sinners, worked and retired to a hermitage for that pur- miracles, delivered prophecies, had the pose. Bassus, an abbot, left with him sacrament delivered to hiin on the pillar, ien loaves and water, and coming to visit and died bowing upon it,in the sixty-ninth him at the end of the forty days, found of his age, after having lived upon pillars both loaves and water untouched, and the for six and thirty years. His corpse was saint stretched on the ground without carried to Antioch attended by the bishops signs of life. Bassus dipped a sponge in and the whole country, and worked miwater, moistened his lips, gave him the racles on its way. So far this account eucharist, and Simeon by degrees swal- is from Alban Butler. lowed a few lettuce leaves and other herbs. Without mentioning circumstances and He passed twenty-six Lents in the same miracles in the Golden Legend, which manner. In the first part of a Lent he are too numerous, and some not fit to be prayed standing; growing weaker he related, it may be observed that it is there prayed sitting; and towards the end, being affirmed of bim, that after his residence almost exhausted, he prayed lying on the on the pillars, one of his thighs rotted a ground. At the end of three years he whole year, during which time he stood left his hermitage for the top of a moun- on one leg only. Near Simeon's pillar tain, made an enclosure of loose stones, was the dwelling of a dragon, so very veFithout a roof, and having resolved to nomous, that nothing grew near his cave. live exposed to the inclemencies of the This dragon met with an accident; he weather, he fixed his resolution by fasten- had a stake in his eye, and coming all ing his right leg to a rock with a great blind to the saint's pillar, and placing his iron chaio. Multitudes thronged to the eye upon it for three days without doing mountain to receive his benediction, and harm to any one, Simeon ordered earth many of the sick recovered their health; and water to be placed on the dragon's But as some were not satisfied unless they eye, which being done, out came the touched him in his enclosure, and Simeon stake, a cubit in length ; when the people desired retirement from the daily con- saw this miracle, they glorified God, and course, he projected a new and unprece- ran away for fear of the dragon, who denied manner of life. He erected a arose and adored for two hours, and repillar six cubits high, (each cubit being turned to his cave. A woman swallowed eighteen inches,) and dwelt on it four a little serpent, which tormented her for years; on a second of twelve cubits high many years, till she came to Simeon, who he lived three years ; on a third of twenty- causing earth and water to be laid on her two cubits high ten years ; and on a mouth, the little serpent came out four fourth of forty cubits, or sixty feet high, feet and a half long. It is affirmed by the which the people built for him, he spent Golden Legend, that when Simeon died, the last twenty years of his life. This Anthony smelt a precious odour proceeding occasioned him to be called stylites, from from his body, that the birds cried so the Greek word stylos, a pillar. This much, that both men and beasts cried ; pillar did not exceed three feet in diame that an angel came down in a cloud; that the patriarch of Antioch taking Simeon's for the third tiroc; and that he was born beard to put among his relics, his hand in this last marriage. He was accus. withered,' and remained so till multi- tomed, agreeably to the rules of his relitudes of prayers were said for him, and gion, to observe fast days with great it was healed : and that more miracles strictness, and never to use any other food were worked at and after Simeon's sepul- than milk, and certain cakes, called by the Cure, than he had wrought all his life. Hungarians kollatschen, together with a
good glass of brandy, such as is made in LONGEVITY.
the country. He had descendants in the 1724. Jan. 5. An extraordinary instance fifth generation, with whom he sometimes of longevity is contained in a letter dated sported, carrying them in his arms. His the 29th of January, 1724, from M. Ha- son, though ninety-seven, was still fresh melbranix, the Dutch envoy at Vienna, to and vigorous. When field marshal count their high mightinesses the states general, Wallis, the commandant of Temeswar, and published in a Dutch dictionary, heard that this old man was taken sick, hé “ Hei Algemeen historisch, geographisch caused a portrait of him to be painted, en genealogisch Woordenbock," by Luis- and when it was almost finished he excius. It relates to an individual who had pired.” attained the extraordinary age of one 1808. Early in January, this year, the hundred and eighty-five years.
shaft of death supplied another case of “ Czartan Petrarch, by religion a Greek, longevity. At the advanced age of 110 was born in the year 1539, and died on years, died Dennis Hampson, the blind the 5th of January, 1724, at Kofrosch, a bard of Maggiligan, of whom an interestvillage four miles from Temeswar, on the ing account has been given by lady toad leading to Karansebes. He had Morgan, in “ The Wild Irish Girl." The lived, therefore, a hundred and eighty- “ Athenæum,” from whence this notice is five years. At the time when the Turks extracted, relates, that only a few hours look Tenieswar from the Christians, he before his decease he tuned his harp, that was employed in keeping his father's cattle. he might have it in readiness to entertain A few days before bis death he had sir H. Bruce's family, who were expected walked, with the help of a stick, to the to pass that way in a few days, and who post-house at Kofrosch, to ask charity were in the habit of stopping to hear his from the travellers. His eyes were much music; suddenly, however, he felt the apinflamed, but he still enjoyed a little sight. proach of death, and calling his family His hair and beard were of a greenish, around him resigned his breath without a white colour, like mouldy bread, and he struggle, and in perfect possession of his had a few of his teeth remaining. His faculties to the last moment. A kindred son, who was ninety-seven years of age, spirit produced the following tribute to the declared his father had once been the memory of this “ aged son of song." He head taller ; that at a great age he married was the oldest of the Irish bards.
The fame of the brave shall no longer be sounded,
The last of our bards now sleeps cold in his grave;
Frown dark at the ocean, and spurn at the ware.
Steal sweet o'er the strings, and wild melody pour;
While strains from thy harp warble soft round the shore
Thy wild gleams of fancy for ever are fled,
That rolls near the green turf that pillows thy head.
And rose-buds of bealth have blown deep on thy cleek ;
And urged thee to wander like laurels to seck.