The Carmelite Calendar
In the old Carmelite calendar in both the Ancient Observance and the Discalced Order, this was the feast of St Brocard considered one of the founders of the Order in the Latin Rite. What follows is a short summary of his life, based on a slap-dash translation by me of the second nocturn in the old office of Matins for his feast day. (Corrections welcomed; your servant presumeth to erudition but he hath it not.
St Brocard was born in Jerusalem and was greatly given to the study of the things of the Lord. He entered he Order of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. There he shone with sanctity. And at the death of the holy Berthold, the first of the Latin priors general, he was elected prior general by unanimous consent of the brethren. That he might foster a more regular religious observance, he begged a Rule from the blessed Albert, the Patriarch of Jerusalem. By this brief compendium, the institution of the Order was completed. At his direction the young Order grew in numbers and in merit.
Knowing his prudence and sanctity, the blessed Patriarch Albert sent him to Damascus to Saladin, the king of Syria and Egypt, to arrange a treaty. While there he was considered by all a wise and knowledgeable man and was thus importuned by Soldanus, the vice-regent, who had contracted leprosy. To the river Jordan he led him and baptized him, thus cleansing him in both body and soul. So becoming a faithful defender of the name of Christ, he led him to Carmel where in the habit of Carmel and in the Carmelite observances he faultlessly persevered, growing always closer to Christ. By this and similar tales did this holy man shine in glory and miracles.
When he had reached the 80th year of his life, and arrived at his death agony, he exhorted the brethren this way: “Sons, into this Order and among the number of the hermits God has called you, and by His singular gift we re called the Brethren of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Therefore after my death, take care lest any false name be taken up by you. Remain firmly constant in goodness, revile riches, condemn the world, observe a righteous life after the pattern of Mary and Elias.” Acquiting himself of these things, he breathed forth his soul.
The collect for his feast:Sanctify Thy servants, Lord, who humbly beseech Thee on the feast of blessed Brocard, hermit of Mount Carmel and Thy confessor, so that by his salutary patronage our life maybe everywhere protected in adversity : through Christ our Lord. Amen.