Rorate Caeli

The most extraordinary event in English history

Tomás Luis de Victoria
Ave Maria (8 v.)

The Mother of God and her Divine Son appear to Saint Simon Stock in Cambridge - 760 years ago today: has there been any other moment in English history whose consequences have aided so many souls throughout the world achieve and keep holiness, reaching final perseverance? Men and women, made of flesh, need material reminders of the presence of God in their lives - and what could be more profitable than the blessed physical sign that Our Lady's Mantle covers us at all times, that Her Divine Son keeps watch over us day and night?
fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium
Saint Elias, pray for us!
Saint Simon Stock, pray for us!
Queen of Mount Carmel, pray for us!
Et fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.

[Recess continues.]


  1. Thank you for posting this, NC.

    Do you mind if I add to it?
    From the Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel:
    O Beautiful Flower of Carmel, Most fruitful Vine, Splendor of Heaven, Holy and singular, Who brought forth the Son of God remaining a pure Virgin; Assist us, assist us in our necessity.

    O Star of the Sea, O Star of the Sea! Help and protect us;
    Show us that thou art our Mother!

    P.S. I was very chuffed when the word verification for this post turned out to be "pight" because it reminded me of the words from St. Robert Southwell's poem 'This Little Babe':

    My soul, with Christ join thou in fight, stick to the tents that He hath pight.

  2. Anonymous3:24 AM

    And please, don't neglect today to pray for the soul of another Englishman, whose devotion to the faith was the stuff of legend.

    Hilaire Belloc died July 16, 1953.

    Requiescat in pace.

  3. Anonymous3:56 AM

    Stories of the Brown Scapular:

  4. Everything we know about Our Blessed Lady is extraordinary. No wonder so many Roman Catholic saints are completely in love with Her.

  5. Anonymous12:09 PM

    Mi dulce Señora del Carmen ruega por nosotros.

    Ruega por el alma de mis padres y de todas la Santas animas del Purgatorio.

    Con orgullo y seguridad visto tu escapulario.

  6. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Let all pray to Our Lady of Mount Carmel for all the souls in Purgatory.

    Today is the perfect day to decide to be invested in the Brown Scapular and to pray to Our Lady of Mount Carmel for all the Holy Souls.

    They are after all the suffering Church.

  7. Thank you so much for this post, the brown scapular truly is a gift from God!

  8. M. A.2:38 PM

    It pains me that my daughters's O.C.D. still does not have the TLM.

    Please join me in prayers for this grace for them and for the other Carmelite monasteries that also desire the old Mass in their communities.

    God reward your charity!

  9. Great post! There is another informative commentary on Our Lady of Carmel and the Carmelite charisms by Deacon Dan Gannon on

  10. Yes, Victoria was not English... but this 2011 recording of his Ave Maria (8 v.) by the Capella de Ministrers, just in time for the 400th anniversary of his death, seemed perfect, which is why I have added it to the original post.

  11. I am intensely devoted to Carmel and its spirituality and wear a brown scapular all the time and am quite devoted to the Blessed Virgin by her title "of Mount Carmel", in other words in her role as Patroness of the Order which was decisively formed in its identity by the dedication of the first hermits' chapel on Mount Carmel (and of course themselves) to her. But, the evidence is overwhelming that the story of the vision of Mary originated about 100 years after St Simon Stock. Wikipedia has the facts (and, as the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not their own facts). The origin of the liturgical feast of OL of Mt Carmel historically seems to have related to the successful defense of the title "Brothers of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel" which there had been controversy over, there is no evidence that it had to do with the scapular devotion, indeed at that time the scapular was not yet considered the defining or most symbolic part of the habit, rather that was the white mantle. It was after that time that the Order's legislation came to define the scapular as the most basic part of the habit which must be worn even at night, the reasoning was that priests could celebrate Mass without the mantle but must not without the scapular, again there was no reference to a vision or a symbolic meaning of the scapular. It is all an interesting story. The Simon Stock/scapular legend and imagery continues to express truthfully the relationship between the Blessed Virgin and Carmel, and continues to be an entirely approved and encouraged Catholic devotion, but it is no longer universally regarded as referring to a private revelation.

    Though known to many as the "scapular feast", neither form of the liturgy refers the Simon Stock legend in the liturgical texts for OLMC.

  12. Elizabeth: There is a reason that every major secular publisher in the United States disallows the use of Wikipedia as an authoritative reference or fact-checking source.

    Can you guess what that reason is? (Hint: The answer is NOT anti-Semitism.)

  13. Thanks, Elizabeth... I guess... What is the next chapter? "Who really wrote Hebrews?", "Saint Dominic and the Rosary: a Medieval Wives' Tale revealed?", or "The true story of the supposed 'Philomena'."...

    The lessons of the Roman Breviary, an eminent part of the liturgy if there is one, most certainly mention this "legend" in some form - they are not usually read according to the 1960 rubrics in the Universal Calendar because it is a Commemoration, but, in many places or societies, where it is at least a 3rd Class feast, the "summarized" ix lesson still could be read, clearly mentioning that "the Most Blessed Virgin ... granted the sacred scapular to the Order". The iv lesson, read until the 1955 reforms and that still could be read in those places or societies where it is at least a 2nd class feast, clearly states that, "Her name and protection are not the only gifts which the most bountiful Virgin hath given them yea, she hath given them the badge of the Holy Scapular, which she delivered to the Blessed Englishman Simon Stock, even an heavenly garment whereby this Holy Order is marked, and harnessed against all assaults." There is no doubt that the feast commemorates all "blessings" generally attributed to the Virgin, not just the Scapular, but this "legend" was read by all those bound to pray according to the Roman Breviary for many centuries; I have no access at the moment to the lessons of the same feast in the Breviarium Ordinis Fratrum Beatissimae Virginis Mariae de Monte Carmelo.

    Naturally, nobody has to believe any of this, but I still fail to see the point of bringing this up here, as if all this "information" on Catholic "legends" were not already widely available to all who are interested in "debunking" them.

  14. As medieval legends go, the story of St. Simon Stock's Marian apparition and Our Lady's gift of the Brown Scapular is better attested than many. There's no compelling reason why the legend could not be true. If the tradition was first written down a century after the fact, what of it?

  15. Fr Paul McDonald8:08 PM

    As recently as 30 years after July 16, 1251, the Carmelites had changed their habit, including as an integral part of it, the Scapular. They also legislated that to sleep without the Scapular was seriously wrong and forbidden. This is proof that something extraordinary had happened.

    Almighty God can neither deceive nor be deceived. The many, many spectacular miracles that have occurred through the Scapular are abundant proof of its divine origin and awesome promises.


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