Simeon of Verkhot’urye or Simeon of Merk’ushino (1607-1642) is a venerated Russian Saint who began a tradition of simple hermit living & who is also believed to be the guardian of the Ural & the Siberian lands.
There is little information about his life: he was born in a noble family of boyars,- (NB: a boyar means a Russian prince), – in the European part of Russia. His parents died during the Sm’uta, a dark period of the country redivision, local rebels & numerous foreign interventions. It might be one of the reasons why Simeon abdicated his noble origin, the family & traveled by feet to the Ural. There he settled in a village named Merk’ushino where he lived as a simple craftsman hiding his true name. His abdication is regarded as an important Christian deed as he made himself close to people & chose a simple life while he had a chance to live as a prince.
There in Verkhot’urye Simeon survived sewing fur-coats in winter for food & shelter, & spent summers as a hermit. People saw him fishing at the banks of the local river. Simeon was very patient, meek & honest. Some people treated him in a disgusting way but he never argued with them. He accepted everything God gave to him & did his best to preach this way of life between other peasants.
When he died, he was buried in a local cemetery & people forgot about him until 1692 when his coffin appeared on earth in a miraculous way & the Saint Simeon’s spirit began his healing. People were surprised, they even couldn’t remember who he was but rather soon the name of Saint Simeon & his numerous miracles made him famous all over the Siberia.
Prayers to Saint Simeon cure the blind & eye diseases, paralysis & any sort of leg injuries as well as he helps in many other matters. His feast day is the 31st December.