St. Simon the Apostle, sometimes known as Simeon, was born to Cleophas, brother of St. Joseph, and said to be a cousin of Jesus by way of Mary’s sister, according to the Gospel of St. Matthew. With zeal for the law, he preached Gospel in Samaria and throughout the Middle East and was bishop of Jerusalem. He became bishop following the massacre of St. James the Lesser by the Jews.

Simon was known for being rigorous in converting others while showing great devotion, according to Luke and Acts. His life is shrouded in mystery aside from mentions in the Gospels. He is listed among the apostles. St. Isidore of Seville in the 13th Century is credited with putting together a series of anecdotes related to him.

Evading arrest by Roman emperors Vespasian and Domitian, Simon was condemned by Trajan to death, tortured, and crucified. His feast day is Feb. 18. He is the patron saint of sawmen and tanners.