Simeon was a ‘righteous and devout’ man who was at the temple on the day of Jesus Christ’s presentation. He is mentioned in Luke’s Gospel.
Simeon is described as a righteous man who was awaiting the consolation of Israel, and whom the Holy Spirit had rested upon. Having received the revelation that he would not die until he saw the Messiah, he was moved by the Holy Spirit and went into the temple courts. According to the customs of the Law, mothers were required to go to the temple 40 days after giving birth to be purified and to offer a sacrifice. On this day, Mary and Joseph also presented, or dedicated Jesus to the Lord, as was customary. Seeing this, Simeon took the child Christ in his arms and praised God, prophesying over Jesus with the following words:
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
Afterwards, Simeon spoke to Mary, telling her that her child would be a sign to be spoken against in Israel, causing many to fall and rise and revealing the thoughts of the hearts of many. His final words, a possible allusion to the death of Jesus, tell Mary that a sword would pierce her heart.