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Easter: May 16th

Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter

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Old Calendar: St. Ubaldus, bishop and confessor; St. Simon Stock, religious (Hist)

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Ubaldus, Bishop of Gubbio. He is remembered in central Italy as a Bishop who was entirely devoted to the duties of his office. He led a life of exceptional austerity. He belonged to the Order of Canons Regular of St. Augustine. He died on May 16, 1160.

Historically today is the feast of St. Simon Stock, a hermit who became a member of the Carmelite order. He received a vision of the Blessed Mother promising salvation to all those who wore the brown scapular which she showed him — a vision that led to the widespread devotion to Mary over the next centuries of wearing this scapular in her honor.

We continue the Novena to the Holy Spirit.

St. Ubaldus
The saint was born in Gubbio, Italy, was ordained a priest, and made a canon. Against his own wishes but upon the request of Pope Honorius II, he became the bishop of his native city in 1128. In this capacity he was a model of apostolic simplicity, pastoral zeal, and personal holiness. His aid is popularly invoked against evil spirits. To this day his body remains incorrupt.

The power St. Ubaldus possessed against evil spirits was evident. The Church moves in a spirit world--good angels are all about, while constant vigilance is exercised against Satan and his devils. The liturgy contains a considerable number of exorcisms and adjurations. Then there are a series of sacramentals directed against the power of evil spirits; for example, holy water, palms, candles. Hold these sacramentals in highest esteem.

— Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

St. Simon Stock
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 to be derived from the old English for tree trunk. He was an itinerant preacher and a pilgrim to the Holy Lands, but he left when invading Muslims chased out Christians. He joined the Carmelite Order soon after its arrival in England.

He lived and studied for several years in Rome and Mount Carmel. He was elected sixth general of the Carmelites in 1247 around age 82. He helped the Order spread through England, southern and western Europe. He founded houses in Cambridge, England in 1248, Oxford in 1253, Paris in 1260, and Bologna in 1260. He revised the Rule of the Order to make them mendicant friars instead of hermits.

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 13 January 1252 the Order received a letter of protection from Pope Innocent IV, protecting them from harassment.

— Excerpted from

Patron: Bordeaux, France

Symbols: Carmelite friar holding a scapular; Carmelite friar receiving the scapular from the Blessed Virgin; Carmelite friar surrounded by and praying for souls in purgatory; elderly man in a Carmelite habit in prayer

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