The Holy Apostle Simon Zelotes hailed from Cana of Galilee. The first miracle which the Saviour worked, the transforming of water into wine, occurred at the house of Simon: at the time of a wedding-feast there was insufficient wine for the guests. Then the Lord, at the prompting of the Most Holy Mother of God, transformed water into wine. Struck by the miracle, Simon with all his heart and soul believed in the Lord Jesus as the Promised Messiah and, having left behind everything, he followed after Him.
Simon received the title “Zelotes”, i.e. the zealot, meaning a person who is zealous. On the day of Pentecost he received the gift of the Holy Spirit together with the other Apostles.
The holy Apostle Simon preached the teaching of Christ at Judea, Egypt, Libya, Cyrenia, and Britain. At Abkhazia he accepted a martyr’s death, and was crucified on a cross. He was buried at the city of Nikopsia around Sukhum. Afterwards (in the nineteenth century), at the place where the holy Apostle Simon asceticised near Mount Iveria, there was established the Novoathonite monastery of Simon the Canaanite. To the present day is preserved the cave wherein the holy Apostle Simon asceticised.