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Saint of the Day

St. Simon Stock

May 16
English. Born: 1165 in Aylesford, County Kent, England.
Died: 1265 in the Carmelite Monastery at Bordeaux, France.

Itinerant preacher. Pilgrim to the Holy Lands, but left when invading Muslims chased out Christians. Joined the Carmelite Order soon after its arrival in England.

Simon lived and studied for several years in Rome, Italy and Mount Carmel. Elected sixth general of the Carmelites in 1247 around age 82. He helped the Order spread through England, southern and western Europe. Founded houses in Cambridge, England in 1248, Oxford in 1253, Paris, France in 1260, and Bologna, Italy in 1260. Revised the Rule of the Order to make them mendicant friars instead of hermits.

Regardless of these successes, the Order was oppressed on all sides, including by the clergy and other orders. The friars took their woes to their patroness, the Virgin Mary. On 13 January 1252 the Order received a letter of protection from Pope Innocent IV, protecting them from harassment.

On May 16, the Catholic Church remembers Saint Simon Stock as the Carmelite monk whose vision of the Virgin Mary is the source of the Brown Scapular devotion.

Carmel's Flower,
Vine ever blossoming,
Heaven's splendor!
Virgin who bore a child.
No one is like thee.
Mother gentle and kind.
Yet never touched by man!
To Carmelites give thou the privilege.
Help us Star of the Sea.
- Simon Stock

St. Simon Stock, pray for us!

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