Simon Zealot the Apostle

The statue

Simon is leaning on a saw, as one of the legends will have it that he was executed by being sawn in two.

The story

The byname of the Zealot may reveal that he belonged to a group of rebels known as the Zealots. He is also called Simon Kananaios. Both words can be translated as “ardent” or “zealous”, but were used about a group of people that fought against the Roman oppressors. With that in mind, it is no wonder that he happily followed Jesus. Simon travelled to Egypt, Armenia and Persia to preach along with Judas Thaddeus. However, they were executed there on the same day.

The facts

Sketch from 1821-24 – completed in 1823 by Emil Wolff according to Thorvaldsen’s sketch. The statue was mounted in marble in 1838.