Friday, September 02, 2011

2 September -- St Brocard

Albert, called by God's favour to be patriarch of the church of Jerusalem, bids health in the Lord and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to his beloved sons in Christ, B. and the other hermits under obedience to him, who live near the spring on Mount Carmel.

Thus begins the Rule of St. Albert, the "Holy Rule" of the entire Carmelite Order. The "B" whom St. Albert is addressing was long considered to be St. Brocard, the prior of the Carmelite community on Mount Carmel who requested a rule of life for his community from Albert, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. September 2d was St. Brocard's feast day from at least the 15th century until the calendar changes that followed that late Vatican Council.

He's still on my calendar, though. (I wrote him in.) So here's what the old 2d nocturn used to say of him.

Here's the old 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.

Sanctifica, Domine, famulos tuos, in veneratione beati Brocardi, Montis Carmeli incolae, Confessoris tui, humiliter supplicantes : ut ejus salutaribus patrociniis vita nostra inter adversa ubique regatur. Per Dominum. Amen.

Serendipity Dept: I went rummaging about on the web looking for a picture of the saint. I found an interesting icon and a couple of very modern - but acceptable - stained glass windows. But there's also a Brocard lake in France and a vintner or two (or three?) named Brocard. . . .hence innumerable pictures of bottles of wine.
But most interesting of all, a discovery of the ruins of an early church - circa 1200 - dedicated to St Brocard. Take a look here. But I wonder: do they have that quite right? My hazy recollection is that it is the church of St Mary but built by St Brocard. (I hate having no books available to refresh the memory.) But look at the pictures anyway. It's the nicest collection of pictures of the 1st Carmel that I've seen on the web.