Aylesford Priory, England: Retreat Center and Shrine of Saint Simon Stock
Simon Stock was a hermit who spent most of his life living in a tree in the woods. It was during these early days of struggle that tradition holds that Our Lady appeared to Saint Simon Stock on July 16, 1251 and handed him the brown woolen scapular as a sign of protection for all her children, stating that whoever wore it devoutly would be assured of eternal salvation.
Her words were: “Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection.”
The Feast Day of Saint Simon Stock is May 16.
Saint Simon Stock is honored here and it is visited by over 200,000 pilgrims each year. The Priory is open daily year round.
About the Priory at Aylesford:
The Priory here dates from the 13th Century when a Crusader returning from the Holy Land gave land to a group of Carmelite Friars. The Friars themselves came from Mount Carmel in the Holy Land and encountered many obstacles upon arriving at their new home.
The suppression of the Catholic Faith in the 15th & 16th Centuries, after the reign of King Henry VIII, drove the Friars from the Priory for several centuries, but they returned in 1948, and the old buildings have been restored and new roadside chapel has been built.
The Friary is now a main center for pilgrimages and retreats. The Priory has 80 bedrooms avalable in their guest house set within the grounds. All guests are welcome to join the Carmelite Community at any of the daily services.
Traveling to Alesford Priory:
Address: Aylesford, Kent ME20 7BX, United Kingdom
GPS coordinates: 51° 18′ 10.1016” N, 0° 28′ 15.5964” E
Tel: +44 1622 717272
e-mail: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of Aylesford Priory.