Some Awesome People

Thursday, May 16, 2013

St. Simon Stock

(1165 - 1265)

Easter: May 16th



Little is known of his early life. Legend says that at age twelve, he began to live as a hermit in a hollow oak tree. The name Stock is believed to be derived from the old English for tree trunk. He was an itinerant preacher and a pilgrim to the Holy Lands, but he left when invading Muslims chased out Christians. He joined the Carmelite Order soon after its arrival in England.

He lived and studied for several years in Rome and Mount Carmel. He was elected sixth general of the Carmelites in 1247, around age 82. He helped the Order spread through England, southern and western Europe. He founded houses in Cambridge, England in 1248, Oxford in 1253, Paris in 1260, and Bologna in 1260. He 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. Tradition says that in answer, she appeared to Simon bringing him the brown scapular of the Carmelites.

Our Lady gives St. Simon a scapular for the Carmelites

"This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites," she told him, "that anyone dying in this habit shall be saved." On 13 January, 1252, the Order received a letter of protection from Pope Innocent IV, protecting them from harassment.

­ Excerpted from SQPN.com

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2013-05-16

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