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LEGEND OF THE TRANSFER OF THE BODY OF ST. SIMON IN ZADAR


 

Zadar chroniclers state that on 27 April, 1285, the body of St. Simon, the biblical old man and a contemporary of Jesus was brought to Zadar from Palestine.


Zadar chroniclers state that on 27 April, 1285, the body of St. Simon, biblical old man and a contemporary of Jesus, was brought to Zadar from Palestine. The body was placed in the cathedral of St. Anastasia and solemn Mass was held by Archbishop Lovro Periandro, archbishop of Zadar at the time. It is difficult to confirm how reliable these facts are because various traditions have been handed down on how the body of St. Simon came to Zadar.


One theory states that the body of St. Simon was in Zadar back in 1203. The story was that a Venetian crusader returning from Constantinople had taken the body of the saint with him but was forced to stop in Zadar due to bad weather. He soon fell ill and on his deathbed unfolded the secret to the Zadar monks. This tradition could have been aimed of alleviating the consequences of the 4th Crusade which had been plundered and destroyed Zadar a year earlier.


The body of St. Simon was buried for 300 years in the chapel of St. Simon in the church of St. Mary the Great located in the eastern part of the present marketplace, In the proximity of the mentioned church, the church of St. Simon started being built in the 16th century, but it was never finished and its remains are still visible today. In 1632, the reliquaries of St Simon were transferred into the church of St. Stephen which was then dedicated to this most famous of Zadar saints.