Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the name given to the Blessed Virgin Mary as patroness of the Carmelite Order. During the late 12th and early to mid-13th century, some Christian hermits were living on Mount Carmel which is located in northern Israel near the Mediterranean coastline.
This mountain is the one that Prophet Elijah stayed in when he was praying for Israel when the land was stricken with drought for three and a half years. Elijah sent his servant to see whether there was any sign of rain and on the seventh trial, the servant came back and told Elijah that a cloud had formed and rain eventually fell on the land of Israel.
The first Carmelites built their hermitages and a chapel on Mount Carmel. They dedicated this chapel to the Blessed Virgin, whom they termed as the “Lady of the place.” They came to be known as the Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
|Our Lady of Mount Carmel Brief History|
|Description||Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St Simon Stock on July 16 1251, and gave him the Brown Scapular with the following words, “This will be for you and for all Carmelites the privilege, that he who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire.”|
|Feast Day||July 16|
|Approval||January 30 1226, during the pontificate of Pope Honorius III
1587 and during the pontificate of Pope Sixtus V
|Patron Saint of||
Our Lady of Mount Carmel History
The members of the Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel moved to England around 1241 and 1242 and continued with their religious activities. On July 16 1251, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St Simon Stock and gave him the Brown Scapular and told him that whoever dies wearing that Brown Scapular will be saved from the eternal fire. It is usually perceived as a pledge of peace, a sign of salvation and protection in danger.
The scapular of Our Lady of Mt Carmel or the Brown Scapular is a devotional sacramental indicating that the wearer is consecrated to Mary and is affiliated to the Carmelite order.
The Carmelites believe that wearing the Brown Scapular has the Sabbatine Privilege. This Sabbatine Privilege originated on March 3 1322, when Pope John XXII was given in a vision by the Blessed Virgin Mary, the message that to those who wear the Brown Scapular, “She, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever she shall find in Purgatory, she shall free, so that she may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.”
However, there are three conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to obtain these benefits of Sabbatine Privilege.
- You have to wear the Brown Scapular
- You have to strictly observe chastity according to one’s state in life
- You have to frequently pray the Rosary
- You have to be formally enrolled in the Brown Scapular by either a priest or a layperson who has been given this faculty. Once you are enrolled, any other scapular need not be blessed before wearing because the blessing and imposition are attached to the wearer for life.
Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is bound to the history and spiritual values of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and is expressed through the scapular. Thus, whoever receives the scapular becomes a member of the order and pledges him/herself to live according to its spirituality in accordance with the characteristics of his/her state in life.
The Carmelites view the Blessed Virgin Mary as the perfect model of virtue because she was the person who was closest in life to Jesus Christ. They view Mary as the first person who points Christians to Christ. They also embrace the Virgin Mary as a Spiritual Mother. Virgin Mary wants us to be like her in our outward vesture and in heart and spirit.
This vision did not go down well with other clergy and Simon Stock received harassment left, right and center. But on January 13 1252, Pope Innocent IV wrote a letter protecting the Carmelite Order from harassment.
O most beautiful flower of Mt. Carmel, fruitful vine, the splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me you are my Mother. O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to succor me in this necessity (make request). There are none that can withstand your power. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands. Amen.Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
On November 16 1894, the Catholic faithful in the city of Palmi, Italy held a procession through the streets while carrying the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on their shoulders. Almost the whole population of about 15,000 inhabitants had gone outside to watch the procession. When they reached the end of the city, a violent earthquake struck the whole city of Palmi and ruined almost all old houses. Only nine people died because they were trapped inside the destroyed buildings.
Each year, Palmi city residents commemorate the 1894 procession with festive stalls, lights, and firecrackers. The Catholic Church officially recognized the miracle on September 22 1895 and the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the city of Palmi, Italy was crowned on November 16 1896.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast Day
The feast day is celebrated as an optional memorial on July 16 in the Catholic Church
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the Patron Saint of
- Villalba municipality, Puerto Rico
- Valletta city, Malta
- Roraima State, Northern Brazil
- Republic of Chile
- Republic of Bolivia
- Quezon City, Philippines
- Protection from harm
- Protection from dangerous situations
- Pernambuco state, Northeast Brazil
- Manila, Philippines
- Malolos City, Philippines
- Jaboticabal municipality in Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Higuerote city, Brión Municipality, Miranda, Venezuela
- Hatillo municipality, Puerto Rico
- Deliverance from Purgatory
- Catemaco Municipality, Veracruz, Mexico
- Carlopoli town in Catanzaro, Calabria region, Italy
- Birkirkara city in Malta
- Aylesford village and civil parish in Kent, England
Today’s Catholic Quote:
“This will be for you and for all Carmelites the privilege, that he who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire.”
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