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, Saint 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 (when out of lock-down) to pay honour to Saint Simon Stock and Our Lady.
In a new video, Father Francis Kemsley reflects on Simon's significance, and association with Our Lady:
St Simon of England pray for us. Saint Jude, pray for us.
Let us pray..
you called Saint Simon Stock to serve you
in the brotherhood of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Through his prayers, help us – like him – to live in your presence,
and to work for the salvation of the human family.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT JUDE, PRAY FOR US.
The image is from one of the prayer cards printed by the Shrine in the 1950s