Simon Stock

Simon Stock

Infobox Saint
name= Saint Simon Stock
death_date=16 May, 1265
feast_day= May 16
venerated_in= Roman Catholic Church

imagesize= 250px
caption=Pietro Novelli, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Carmelite Saints (Simon Stock (standing), Angelus of Jerusalem (kneeling), Mary Magdalene de'Pazzi, Teresa of Avila), 1641 (Museo Diocesano, Palermo.).
birth_place= possibly Aylesford, Kent
death_place= Bordeaux, France
major_shrine= Aylesford, England
Saint Simon Stock (born c. 1165; died 16 May 1265) was, according to Carmelite tradition, the English Carmelite to whom the Brown Scapular was given.


He is believed to have been born in Aylesford in Kent. When he was twelve, he reportedly went to live in a hollow oak trunk, drinking only water and eating only herbs, roots, and wild apples. In 1212, he joined the Carmelites, a religious order (mendicants) coming from Palestine. After he was admitted into the order, he was sent to Oxford to complete his studies. After his return, he was appointed vicar-general by Saint Brocard, the prior of Mount Carmel (the Carmelites). Simon went to Rome in 1226 and obtained Pope Honorius III's confirmation of the Rule given by Albertus, the patriarch of Jerusalem. He also obtained a confirmation from Gregory IX in 1229. He later went to Palestine for six years and assisted in the general chapter (general assembly) of the order in 1237. It was determined at this chapter that the majority of the order should go to Europe, due to influence of the Saracens. Many of the brothers were sent to England in 1240, to be followed by Alanus (the general of the order) and Simon. In 1245, during a general chapter in Aylesford, Alanus resigned his position as general, and Simon was chosen as the sixth general of the order [] (or 1247, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia).

Simon received another confirmation of the Rule by Innocent IV, and the order was received under the special protection of the Holy See (Vatican) in 1251. Houses of the religious order were established in most parts of Europe, but its greatest growth was in England. Soon after Simon's election as general, he instituted the confraternity of the Brown Scapular.Carmelite tradition maintains that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Stock at Cambridge, on Sunday, 16 July 1251. In answer to his appeal for help for his oppressed order, she appeared to him with a scapular in her hand and said: "Take, beloved son, this scapular of the order as a badge of my confraternity and for you and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant". This tradition, however, appears in such a precise form for the first time in 1642, when the words of the Blessed Virgin were given in a circular of Saint Simon Stock which he is said to have dictated to Peter Swanyngton, his secretary and confessor.

Simon was leader of the Carmelites for twenty years and wrote several hymns and decrees for the order.

He died on May 16, 1265, at the age of around one hundred. He was buried in the cathedral of Bordeaux. In 1951, Stock's skull was given to Aylesford Priory and has been preserved in a reliquary. The body is still in Bordeaux.

ee also

*Book of the First Monks
*Constitutions of the Carmelite Order
*Carmelite Rite

External links

* [ St Simon Stock, May 16 - Optional Memorial]
* [ Discalced Carmelite Calendar and Saints]
* [ Carmelite Vocation]
* [ Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Simon Stock]
* [ Butler's Lives of the Saints: St. Simon Stock]

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