St. Simón Stock—16th May. Simon stock was born in Aylesford in the united Kingdom in 1165. During his youth heCarmelitetravelled to the Holy landin Palestine. Returning to Europe he established many Carmelite orders principally in university towns such as Oxford , Paris and Barcelona. The name stock ( which means tree trunk) according to legend was a nick name attributed to him ,as by the age of 12 he had already adopted a hermetic lifestyle dwelling in the hollow trunkan oak tree.In 1251 whilst the Carmelite order suffered oppression tradition states that the Virgin Mary appeared to himCambridgesecure him in his mission and to offer her perpetual protection to the order ,the same time she bestowed upon him the brown scapular and habitas sign of her favour. Our Lady told him that those who wore the Carmelite habitwould be protected from the fires of hell, the scapular itselfto bespiritual shield in times of danger. In 1254 Simon was appointed Superior General of the Carmelite order in London. Simon diedin 1265 in Bordeaux in France . The Carmelite order wascontemplative communityat the end of the 12th Century in Palestine a group ofascetic monks who dwelled on Mt Carmel, they have a strong devotion to Mary who is the Patroness of the order. Their motto is ” With ZealI have been Zealous for the Lord, God of Hosts”.
St. Eugene de – 21st May. Charles Eugene de Mazenod was born ina wealthy noble family in 1782 at Aix en- Provence in France. In his early years he experienced the turmoil of the French revolution and the family fled to Italy. In Italy his fatherhimmother and siblingsgreathardship . Thanks to a wealthythey were able to return to France and in 1808 after much reflection and alavishlife style entered the seminary of St Sulpice in Paris. His very words were ” I looked for happiness outside of God but instead I found only affliction and disappointment.” In 1811 he was ordained a priest at Amiens and directed his ministry towards the poorest of the poor. A while after he was appointed the Bishop of Marseille and began to build many churches and parishes. He is famous for establishing the” Missionaries of Provence”, after a short whilewas approved byLeo XIIIbecameas “The Oblates of Immaculate Mary”. In 1841 the Oblates sailed for missions in five continents. After a life of spreading the Good News of the Gospel he died in 1861. Eugene was canonized in 1995 by Saint John Paul II and is the Patron Saint of dysfunctional families.
St. Rita of Casia – 22nd May. Margarita was born near Spoleto in Italy in 1381. From young age she yearned to become a bride of Christ but her family were adamant that she should marry and bear children. At the tender age of 12 she was married to a man called Paolo Mancini who was a violent ,selfish ,immoral and. Margarita had two sons with Mancini,Paolo and Antonio.After 18of enduringmiserable marriage her husband died in a brawl and not long after both her sons also passed away. Now a free woman Margarita attempted to join the local Augustinian convent in Casica who refused her as they only accepted virgins, however after they saw howshe was for a life in Christ they finally accepted her admittance in 1413 at the Monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene. Rita spent many hours in prayer meditating on the Passion of Christ,the midst ofillnessherself received stigmata whichthe wounds Jesus had suffered from the crown of thorns on her headstayed with her for 15 years. Rita also was a mystic and began to experience visions, shefrom tuberculosis in 1457 at the monastery. Known as the Saint of hopeless causes and of difficult marriages and widows she was canonized in1900 by Pope Leo XIII, many miracles are attributed to her.