Roman Catholic Saint. At the age of twelve he began his life of piety by becoming a hermit in a hollow oak tree, eating herbs, roots and wild apples. He joined the Carmelite order in 1212, and went to study in Oxford, England. When he returned, he was made vicar-general of the order. In 1226 he went to Rome, where he received Pope Honorius III's conformation of the rule of Albertus, patriach of Jerusalem. From Rome he travelled to Mount Carmel, Palestine, where he stayed for six years. While there, he took part in the general assembly of the order in 1237, when it was decided that they should go to Europe to escape the Saracens. He was made the sixth general of the order in 1247, and founded houses in the university cities of Cambridge, Oxford, Paris and Bologna. Carmelite tradition says that the Virgin Mary appeared to him at Cambridge in 1251. She is said to have presented him with the scapular of the order, saying that all who wore it would be saved from damnation. It was because of this vision that Pope Innocent IV granted the order a letter of protection against oppression in 1252. He led the Carmelites for twenty years, and wrote many hymns for the order, before dying at the age of approximately one hundred. His skull was presented to Aylsford Priory as a holy relic in 1951.
Bio by: js