Friday, 16 May 2014

St Simon Stock

Today is the feast of St Simon Stock one of the first Carmelites to come to Europe from the Holy Land.

Simon was an English man probably from Kent, and helped the Carmelites change from hermits to being part of the new movement of friars. He was prior general of the Order and died in Bordeaux in 1265. Tradition has it that in those difficult days of transition, Simon had a vision of Our Lady who promised to protect the Carmelites and that the Carmelite habit would be a sign of her care.

It is from this tradition that the Brown Scapular devotion grew, and that wearing the Scapular (a smaller version of the habit) was a way of being open to Mary’s care. It was also a sign of Christian commitment. The Scapular is now a world-wide devotion.

Since 1951, St Simon Stocks relics have rested at Aylesford Priory, and are housed in a beautiful reliquary created by the Polish artist Adam Kossowski. Thousands of pilgrims come to Aylesford every year to pay honour to St Simon Stock and Our Lady.

St Simon of England pray for us.

The National Shrine of Saint Jude is currently selling a number of saints’ prayer cards that were created and printed in the early years of this peaceful place. They are all beautifully prepared, in full colour and mostly A7 size or larger. Most of them include a prayer to the saint on the back. You can purchase these, here

Fr Wilfrid McGreal, O.Carm

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