MOSCOW, February 15, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Olga Lipich) -- On Sunday the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Candlemas, one of the main Christian holidays. The Orthodox Youth Day, marked by Orthodox believers for many years, is timed to this holiday.

Candlemas is also marked as the Feast of Meeting of Christ and Simeon the Just. Working on the translation of the Holy Writ from Jewish into the Greek language, Simeon doubted in the statement in the Book of Isaiah that the Virgin would give birth to the Savior and wanted to correct the text. After that, an angel appeared and said that Simeon would not die until he saw the prophecy fulfilled.

Forty days after Christ's birth Mary and Joseph brought him to the temple to present him to the Lord and to make a traditional sacrifice to the Lord for the first-born. Simeon, who was 360 years old at that time, recognized Christ as the Savior. "Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised," Simeon said thanking God for the end of his earthly life burden.

Theologians consider the meeting of the Christ child and Simeon as the meeting of the Old and New Testaments, the meeting of the Lord's Law given to Jewish people and the supreme law of divine love brought to the world by Jesus Christ.

Weather-wise people say that Candlemas is a border between the winter and the spring.

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