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Thursday, May 16, 2019

ST. SIMON STOCK



Acts, Chapter 13, verse 16
So, Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said, “Fellow Israelites and you others who are God-fearing, listen.

The Apostle Paul Gestured. Most effective speakers’ gesture. A gesture is defined by The American Heritage College Dictionary as “a motion of the limbs or body made to express thought or to emphasize speech.” Surely every gospel preacher should want to emphasize his sermon. Let’s look to see what the Bible teaches about such. As Paul was asked by the rulers of the synagogue, “. . . if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience” (Acts 13:15-16). The apostle Paul knew that gestures can help to enforce the oral expression in gospel preaching. In Jerusalem, “. . . Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying . . .” (Acts 21:40). Paul knew that gestures help communicate ideas and help get and hold attention. It has been said that gesturing is not in keeping with humility. Paul, who gestured, said, “Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying-in wait of the Jews” (Acts 20:19). Paul was a humble-gesturing preacher! When the apostle Paul made his defense before King Agrippa, he “. . . stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself” (Acts 26:1). The stretching forth of one’s hand is gesturing. [1]


St. Simon Stock[2]

Saint Simon Stock was born to a very illustrious family in Kent County, England (c. 1165), of which his father was governor. His mother was devoted to the Virgin Mary, and Simon was not yet one year old when he was heard clearly articulating the Angelic salutation several times. When he was twelve, Simon began to live as a hermit in the hollow of a trunk of an oak, where he got the nickname stock” or trunk”. Within this wilderness retreat, his continual prayers ascended to heaven and he spent twenty years in the most complete solitude, feeding his soul with the celestial delights of contemplation.

Having voluntarily chosen to deprive himself of human conversation, he was favoured with that of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the angels who urged him to persevere in his life of sacrifice and love. The Queen of Heaven told him that some hermits from Palestine would soon land in England, adding that he should join those men whom she considered as her servants.

Indeed, Lord John Vesoy and Lord Richard Gray of Codnor returned from the Holy Land, bringing with them several hermits from Mount Carmel. Simon Stock joined them in 1212 and was elected Vicar General of the Carmelite Order in 1215. He begged the Virgin Mary by fervent prayers and tears to defend this Order, which was devoted to her, and she appeared in a dream to Pope Honorius III, so the pope finally confirmed the Rule of Carmelites in 1226.

Another time the Mother of God appeared to Simon, surrounded by a dazzling light and accompanied by a large number of blessed spirits, with the scapular of the order in her hand. This scapular she gave him with the words: Hoc erit tibi et cunctis Carmelitis privilegium, in hoc habitu moriens salvabitur This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone wearing this habit shall be saved.

Through Saint Simon Stock the devotion of the scapular spread throughout the world, not only among the people, but also among kings and princes who found themselves very honoured to wear the sign of the servants of the Blessed Virgin. Stock breathed his last in the city of Bordeaux while visiting monasteries, in the 20th year of his office as Vicar General. The Church added his last words to the Angelic salutation: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.


Mary’s Promise to Those Who Wear the Scapular

Our Lady gave St. Simon a scapular for the Carmelites with the following promise, saying: Receive, My beloved son, this habit of thy order: this shall be to thee and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire …. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace.

Another important aspect of wearing the Scapular is the Sabbatine Privilege. This concerns a promise made by Our Lady to Pope John XXII. In a papal letter he issued, he recounted a vision that he had had. He stated that the Blessed Virgin had said to him in this vision, concerning those who wear the Brown Scapular: “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.” 


Conditions and Rituals Attached to The Scapular

According to Church tradition, there are three conditions necessary to participate in this Privilege and share in the other spiritual benefits of the Scapular: wear the Brown Scapular, observe chastity according to your state in life, and pray the Rosary. In addition to the Sabbatine Privilege, enrollment in the Brown Scapular also makes a person part of the Carmelite family throughout the world. They therefore share in all of the prayers and good works of the Carmelite Orders. Participation in the Carmelite family also, of course, places you in a special relationship with the Carmelite saints, especially St. Elijah, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, and, most importantly, Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

In order to receive the spiritual blessings associated with the Scapular, it is necessary to be formally enrolled in the Brown Scapular by either a priest or a lay person who has been given this faculty. Once enrolled, the enrollment is for life and need not be repeated. Anyone, adult or infant, who has not previously been enrolled may be enrolled in the Brown Scapular. 


Value and Meaning of The Scapular

Many popes and saints have strongly recommended wearing, the Brown Scapular to the Catholic Faithful, including St. Robert Bellarmine, Pope John XXII, Pope Pius Xl, and Pope Benedict XV. For example, St. Alphonsus said: “Just as men take pride in having others wear their livery, so the Most Holy Mary is pleased when Her servants wear Her Scapular as a mark that they have dedicated themselves to Her service, and are members of the Family of the Mother of God.”

Pope Pius XII went so far as to say: “The Scapular is a practice of piety which by its very simplicity is suited to everyone, and has spread widely among the faithful of Christ to their spiritual profit.” In our own times, Pope Paul VI said: “Let the faithful hold in high esteem the practices and devotions to the Blessed Virgin … the Rosary and the Scapular of Carmel” and in another place referred to the Scapular as: “so highly recommended by our illustrious predecessors.”


Mission BBQ Armed Forces Day buildup

US Marine Corp[3]



Where the mighty go; God goes with them!

·         At Iwo Jima, Marine Chaplain Father Charles Suver celebrated Holy Mass shortly before the raising of the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi by the Marines. Debate has been inconclusive whether it was the first less known or the second more well-known raising of the flag that is now immortalized in history. Regardless of which flag raising it was Father Suver could still hear Japanese voices in the nearby caves as he said the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!
·         Fr. Charles Watters in Vietnam shortly before his death in November, 1967. Chaplain Watters was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery under fire. Once he linked up with the Marines they told him to leave as it was too dangerous. Father McGonigal refused and ministered aid and Last Rites to the wounded and dying. He was killed on February 17, 1968 trying to rescue a wounded Marine. The Marines later dedicated a chapel at Camp Pendleton in his honor to the service he gave to the Marines at Hue.


Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan
·         Manhood of Christ Day 7, Tenth Week.
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 4




[1]http://www.truthmagazine.com/then-paul-stood-up-and-beckoning-with-his-hand
[2] https://catholicismpure.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/saint-simon-stock-and-the-scapular-of-our-lady-of-mount-carmel/

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