Intoxication of light, movement of fire

St Symeon the New Theologian

St Symeon the New Theologian

Today is the feast of St Symeon the New Theologian.

This is the date of his repose; his feast is celebrated again on October 12, because this primary feast day always falls in the Great Fast, rather curtailing the celebrations.


In St Symeon’s “On Faith”, there is an account of the experiences of a young man named “George” – Symeon himself of course – which I find deeply moving.

[…] AND his heart began to be warm. Compunction also began to come to him, and plentiful tears began to run from his eyes.

He began to make genuflections frequently, and to say other prayers to the Birth-giver of God, with deep sighing and with pain of heart.

Αnd it seemed to him that he stood before the Lord bodily, and that he fell at his immaculate feet and begged him with tears to be tenderly pitying towards him, just like the blind man of whom the Holy Gospel speaks, and to grant to him light for the eyes of his soul.

Read The Story of ‘George’ (from my Saints And Elders section).

It’s quite long, but so heart-warming and encouraging. It shows what wonders are in the reach of the most plain layperson, if we open our hearts to Christ and – which appears to be St Symeon’s chief point here – let him dictate the pace.


BUT, Oh, what intoxication of light, Oh, what movements of fire!
Oh, what swirlings of the flame in me, miserable one that I am,
coming from You and Your glory!
The glory I know it and I say it is your Holy Spirit,
who has the same nature with You, and the same honor, O word;
He is of the same race, the same glory,
of the same essence, He alone with your Father,
and with you, O Christ, O God of the universe!
I fall down in adoration before You.
I thank You that You have made me worthy to know, however little it may be,
the power of Your divinity.

Hymns of Divine Passion, No. 25.



SINCE thou hadst received within thy pure soul God’s enlightenment, O righteous father, thou wast shown to the world as a blazing light which drove away its thick darkness and moved all men to seek the grace of the Spirit which they had lost.

O all-holy Father Symeon, intercede with Him to grant great mercy unto us who honour thee.


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