May 16

St. Simon Stock

St. Simon Stock

St Simon Stock was an Englishman who lived in the 13th century and hewas born in 1165 and he died in May 1265. There is not much known abouthis life with absolute certainty. The surname Stock appears in somedocuments but not in others.

Dedication of His Life

Beginning at the age of 12, St Simon stock is known to have lived as ahermit in a hollow tree trunk. He is also believed to have gone on apilgrimage to the Holy land when he was young. St Simon lived insolitude for twenty years in the wilderness engaging in prayer andmeditation.

It is also believed that during this pilgrimage is when he joined agroup of Carmelites and he completed a course at of studies at Oxford in1212.

Life as a Carmelite

He was a prior of the Carmelite religious order who had their origins asa Christian Hermit community in Palestine. The members of this religiousorder moved to Europe when the Muslim rule resumed in Palestine. InEngland this order became the mendicant friars, they assumed a life ofpoverty and lived in urban areas with the aim of spreading the gospel.

When this religious order moved to England, St Simon became an earlyleader as he was already in England. St Simon was known for his holinessand devotion throughout his life and miracles attested to this evenafter his death. He always asked the virgin marry to favor his orderwith some singular privilege.

At some point the virgin Marry appeared to him holding a scapular withthe promise that the Carmelite religious who persevered in theirvocation would be saved. It is also believed that when Mary was givingthe scapular to St Simon she told him that whoever dies clothed in thathabit would be preserved from eternal fire.

Beginning of the 16th century, the Carmelites began giving the brownscapular to lay people who wanted to be affiliated with the order and itbecame an increasingly popular religious article. The scapular was knownas a sign of special favor and it was a badge of salvation and a shieldin times of danger.

The scapular is made up of two pieces of cloth with one on the chest andthe other on the back connected with straps that pass over theshoulders.

Devotion to the brown scapular remains widespread and it is recommendedby the Catholic Church. Carmelites find meaning in the iconic story ofSt Simon Stock receiving the scapular. It is a reflection of theirfilial relationship with the virgin Mary.

During his time when he was a friar, the order spread widely in southernand western Europe. He did a lot of work for the order with remarkableenergy and he is the most celebrated general for this order. It wasrather unfortunate that his order was greatly oppressed everywhere.

St Simon Stocks lived on a diet that consisted of herbs, roots and wildapples. He only drank water.

His Death

He died in Bordeaux, France and he was buried there. His bones are stillpreserved in a cathedral in Bordeaux. His tibia was brought to Englandin the 1860s for the Carmelite church in Kensington and part of hisskull was enshrined at Aylesford in1950.


St Simon Stock is accredited with founding houses in the universitycities of that era. Universities included are Oxford and Cambridge.

His feast day is May 16 and he is the patron saint of the Englishprovince of Discalced Carmelites.

St Simon Stock major shrine is in Aylesford, England.

5 Interesting Facts About St. Simon Stock

  1. The Blessed Virgin Marry is traditionally said to have appeared to
    him and given him the Carmelite habit.
  2. St Simon Stock is believed to have lived in a hollow tree before
    the arrival of the Carmelites in England and some believe that is the
    source of his surname.
  3. St Simon Stock feast day is an optional memorial day.
  4. Other scholarly doubt if the virgin with the virgin marry actually
    happened or it was just a story.
  5. He lived to be one hundred years old.

Prayer to St. Simon Stock

Heavenly Father, you called Saint Simon Stock to serve you in thebrotherhood of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.Through his prayers, help us, like him, to live in your presence, and towork for the salvation of the human family.We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.