St. Simon was a native of Cana of Galilee, and knew Christ and his family, whom he invited to his wedding at Cana. There the Lord worked the miracle of turning the water in the water pots into good wine, and St. Simon was so struck by this public miracle that he left his house, his family, and his bride, and followed Christ alone in great zeal, thus his name “the Zealot.” He is numbered as one of the Twelve Apostles of the Lord.
After Pentecost, St. Simon traveled to preach the Gospel in Egypt, Mauritania (in northern Africa), Libya, Numidia, Cyrenia, and Abkhazia, an area by the Black Sea. He also traveled to Britain to enlighten those who were still in the grip of pagan darkness, and went with the Apostle Jude Thaddeus to Persia. There are several traditions about his death. The first is that he was martyred alone in Britain. The second is that he died in Persia together with the Apostle Jude Thaddeus as a martyr. The third is that he died and was buried in Nikopsia, near Dzhigentia, close to the Black Sea, in Asia Minor. May we, too, be filled with zeal and love for Christ above all things, and cleave to Him!