Happy feast of Saint Simon Stock, English Carmelite Prior General.
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, relics of Saint Simon Stock 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 Saint Simon Stock and Our Lady.
Saint Simon of England pray for us.