St. Simon Stock
- Simon Anglus
Feast Day - July 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 derived from the old English for tree trunk. Itinerant
preacher. Pilgrim to the Holy Lands, but left when invading Muslims
chased out Christians. Joined the Carmelite Order soon after its
arrival in England.
Lived and studied for
several years in Rome and Mount Carmel. Elected sixth general of
the Carmelites in 1247 around age 82. Helped the Order spread through
England, southern and western Europe. Founded houses in Cambridge,
England in 1248, Oxford in 1253, Paris in 1260, and Bologna in 1260.
Revised the Rule of the Order to make them mendicant friars instead
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. "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 January 13, 1252 the Order received a letter of protection from
Pope Innocent IV, protecting them from harassment.
Born - c.1165
in Aylesford, County Kent, England
Died - May 16,
1265 in the Carmelite monastery at Bordeaux, France of natural causes
while on a visit; skull transferred to the Carmelite friary in Aylesford,
England in 1951
Canonized - never
formally canonized; venerated by the Carmelites since at least 1564;
the Vatican has approved the Carmelite celebration of his feast.