Our Lady of Mt. Carmel – July 16
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Saint of the Day for July 16
The Story of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Hermits lived on Mount Carmel near the Fountain of Elijah in northern Israel in the 12th century. They had a chapel dedicated to Our Lady. By the 13th century they became known as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.” They soon celebrated a special Mass and Office in honor of Mary. In 1726, it became a celebration of the universal Church under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For centuries the Carmelites have seen themselves as specially related to Mary. Their great saints and theologians have promoted devotion to her and often championed the mystery of her Immaculate Conception.
Saint Teresa of Avila called Carmel “the Order of the Virgin.” Saint John of the Cross credited Mary with saving him from drowning as a child, leading him to Carmel, and helping him escape from prison. Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus believed that Mary cured her from illness. On her First Communion day, Thérèse dedicated her life to Mary. During the last days of her life she frequently spoke of Mary.
There is a tradition—which may not be historical—that Mary appeared to Saint Simon Stock, a leader of the Carmelites, and gave him a scapular, telling him to promote devotion to it. The scapular is a modified version of Mary’s own garment. It symbolizes her special protection and calls the wearers to consecrate themselves to her in a special way. The scapular reminds us of the gospel call to prayer and penance—a call that Mary models in a splendid way.
The Carmelites were known from early on as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.” The title suggests that they saw Mary not only as “mother,” but also as “sister.” The word sister is a reminder that Mary is very close to us. She is the daughter of God and therefore can help us be authentic daughters and sons of God. She also can help us grow in appreciation of being sisters and brothers to one another. She leads us to a new realization that all human beings belong to the family of God. When such a conviction grows, there is hope that the human race can find its way to peace.
Mary, under the Title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, is the Patron Saint of:
The Virgin of Carmel
Moretto da Brescia
Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice
The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was first instituted in the late 14th century in commemoration of the approval of the rule of the Carmelite Order a hundred years earlier. According to legend, a religious community was established even before the time of Christ on Mount Carmel. This is the mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea on which the prophet Elijah successfully challenged the priests of Baal and won the people to the true God. The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel entered the Calendar of the universal Church in the early 18th century.
Although there is no historical evidence for the pre-Christian Carmelite community, references in the 12th century record a community of monks on the holy mountain. Despite continual difficulties, the community built a monastery and church dedicated to the Virgin Mary on Mount Carmel in 1263. Saint Louis, King of France, had visited Mount Carmel in 1254, and brought back six French hermits for whom he built a convent near Paris. Mount Carmel was taken by the Saracens in 1291, and the brothers were killed and the convent burned. The spread of the Carmelites in Europe is largely attributable to the work of Saint Simon Stock (1247-65). The Carmelite Order was formally approved in 1274 at the Council of Lyon.
Among the best known Carmelites today are two women: Saint Theresa of Jesus (Theresa of Avila – 1515-1582) who despite many difficulties reformed the Carmelite Order (the Discalced Carmelites); and Saint Edith Stein (Theresa Benedicta of the Cross – 1891-1942), a Jewish convert and philosophy professor, who was killed at Auschwitz, canonized in 1998, and proclaimed “co-patroness” of Europe in 1999.
May the venerable intercession of the glorious Virgin Mary
come to our aid, we pray, O Lord,
so that, fortified by her protection,
we may reach the mountain which is Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
Zechariah 2:14-17 (RSV Zechariah 2:10-13)
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the LORD. And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And the LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.”
Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
While He was still speaking to the people, behold, His mother and His brethren stood outside, asking to speak to Him. But He replied to the man who told Him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are my mother and my brethren! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
Blind Mount Carmel student overcomes big challenges
Israel: Al Qaeda claims fire of Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel Monastery Approved! Good News for the Monks and for the Church
Mount Carmel for America: Carmelite Monks, Messengers of New Springtime
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Brown Scapular [Catholic Caucus]
The Brown Scapular (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel)
Our Lady Of Mount Carmel & “The Carmelites:An Historical Sketch”
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Homilies preached by Father Altier on the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Novena To Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Information: Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Feast Day: July 16
Alms for the Lord
“Alms are an inheritance and a justice which is due to the poor and which Jesus has levied upon us.” – St. Francis of Assisi
Take a moment today to offer assistance to someone in need or give a gift to the Lord through a local, national, or international agencies that ministers to the most basic needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in poverty.
Year of Mercy Calendar for Today: Celebrate the Lord’s Day outside tonight.
Saturday, July 16
Liturgical Color: Green
Blessed Anicet Koplinski, one of
the 108 Polish Martyrs of WWII,
died on this day in 1941. Mostly
priests and religious, they were
killed in Nazi death camps
because of their Catholic faith.
Ordinary Time: July 16th
Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
July 16, 2016 (Readings on USCCB website)
May the venerable intercession of the glorious Virgin Mary come to our aid, we pray, O Lord, so that, fortified by her protection, we may reach the mountain which is Christ. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
- Caramel Sauce
- Carmelite Sundaes
- Coffee Cookie Bars with Caramel Icing
- Granita di Caffe
- Celebrating the Feasts of the Blessed Virgin
- Feasts of Mary in the Family
- July 16: Commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
- Marian Hymn: ’Tis Said of Our Dear Lady
- Marian Hymn: Ave Maria Dear
- Marian Hymn: Beautiful, Glorious
- Marian Hymn: Lourdes Hymn or Immaculate Mary
- Marian Hymn: Salve Regina
- Marian Hymn: Stella Matutina
- Marian Hymn: Virgin Blessed, Thou Star the Fairest
- Mary Garden
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel
- St. Simon Stock, Traditional Feast May 16
- Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loretto)
- Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
- Rite for the Blessing of and Enrolment in the Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel
- Table Blessing for the Feasts of the Mother of God
- Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
- Scapular of Carmel, a Treasure For the Church | Pope John Paul II
- The Scapular Devotion | Christian P. Ceroke O. Carm.
- The Scapular Medal | Holy Office
Old Calendar: Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel ; Other Titles: Our Lady of Carmine
Sacred Scripture celebrated the beauty of Carmel where the prophet Elijah defended the purity of Israel’s faith in the living God. In the twelfth century, hermits withdrew to that mountain and later founded the Carmelite order devoted to the contemplative life under the patronage of Mary, the holy Mother of God.
Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is worldwide, and most Catholics are familiar with the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also known as the Brown Scapular. Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251, and gave him the scapular with the following words, which are preserved in a fourteenth century narrative: “This will be for you and for all Carmelites the privilege, that he who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire.” The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was instituted for the Carmelites in 1332, and extended to the whole Church by Benedict XIII in 1726.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Today is the principal feast day of the Carmelite Order. Through the efforts of the crusader Berthold, a group of hermits living on Mount Carmel were organized into an Order after the traditional Western type about the year 1150. Oppressed by the Saracens, the monks slowly emigrated to Europe. During the night preceding the sixteenth of July, 1225, the Blessed Virgin is said to have commanded Pope Honorius III to approve the foundation. Since the Carmelites were still under constant harassment, the sixth General of the Order, St. Simon Stock, pleaded with the Blessed Virgin for some special sign of her protection. On July 16, 1251, she designated the scapular as the special mark of her maternal love. That is why the present feast is also known as the feast of the Scapular. The scapular, as part of the habit, is common to many religious Orders, but it is a special feature of the Carmelites. A smaller form of the scapular is given to lay persons in order that they may share in the great graces associated with it. Such a grace is the “Sabbatine privilege.” In the so-called Bulla Sabbatina John XXII affirmed that wearers of the scapular are soon freed from the flames of purgatory, at least by the Saturday after death. The confirmation of the Bulla Sabbatina was promulgated by the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences, July 4, 1908.
Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Things to Do:
- If you have not already done so, have a priest enroll you in the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or popularly known as the “Brown Scapular” and begin wearing it as a sign of your love for Our Lady. A priest enrolls people in the Brown Scapular only once. The Scapular can then be replaced afterwards by other scapulars or the scapular medal, which has on one side the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on the other, the image of Mary. The medal needs to be blessed by a priest, but the cloth scapulars do not require a blessing (separate from enrollment).
- Wearing the Brown Scapular is not an automatic guarantee of salvation. It is not a magical charm, nor is it an excuse to live in a way contrary to the teachings of the Church. It is a sacramental which has been approved by the Church for over seven centuries and is a sign of one’s decision to follow Jesus as did Mary, the perfect model of all the disciples of Christ. In addition to being an introduction into the Family of Carmel, the Brown Scapular is an expression of our belief that we will meet God in eternal life, aided by the intercession and prayer of Mary. While sacramentals prepare us to receive grace if we are in the right disposition, the Church emphasizes that only sacraments can confer sanctifying grace. (see Catechism, no. 1670.)
- Periodically the Church reexamines devotions and popular piety to make sure they are “not at odds with the centrality of the Sacred Liturgy. Rather, in promoting the faith of the people, who regard popular piety as a natural religious expression, they predispose the people for the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries” ( John Paul II, September 2001). In accordance with Vatican II, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued the Directory on Popular Piety in 2001 to reevaluate different devotions and popular piety. Though the Brown Scapular is included in the document as a wonderful pious practice, the Directory does not mention the Sabbatine Privilege, which continues to present historical difficulties. The Directory rather emphasizes the beautiful sign of the “filial relationship” with the faithful and Mary: 205. The history of Marian piety also includes “devotion” to various scapulars, the most common of which is devotion to the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Its use is truly universal and, undoubtedly, it is one of those pious practices which the Council described as “recommended by the Magisterium throughout the centuries.”The Scapular of Mount Carmel is a reduced form of the religious habit of the Order of the Friars of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel. Its use is very diffuse and often independent of the life and spirituality of the Carmelite family.The Scapular is an external sign of the filial relationship established between the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Mount Carmel, and the faithful who entrust themselves totally to her protection, who have recourse to her maternal intercession, who are mindful of the primacy of the spiritual life and the need for prayer.The Scapular is imposed by a special rite of the Church which describes it as “a reminder that in Baptism we have been clothed in Christ, with the assistance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, solicitous for our conformation to the Word Incarnate, to the praise of the Trinity, we may come to our heavenly home wearing our nuptial garb.”The imposition of the Scapular should be celebrated with “the seriousness of its origins. It should not be improvised. The Scapular should be imposed following a period of preparation during which the faithful are made aware of the nature and ends of the association they are about to join and of the obligations they assume.”
- Pope John Paul II has worn the scapular for a long time. The Holy Father’s talk on the Scapular of Carmel, A Treasure for the Church mentions: Therefore two truths are evoked by the sign of the Scapular: on the one hand, the constant protection of the Blessed Virgin, not only on life’s journey, but also at the moment of passing into the fullness of eternal glory; on the other, the awareness that devotion to her cannot be limited to prayers and tributes in her honor on certain occasions, but must become a “habit”, that is, a permanent orientation of one’s own Christian conduct, woven of prayer and interior life, through frequent reception of the sacraments and the concrete practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. In this way the Scapular becomes a sign of the “covenant” and reciprocal communion between Mary and the faithful: indeed, it concretely translates the gift of his Mother, which Jesus gave on the Cross to John and, through him, to all of us, and the entrustment of the beloved Apostle and of us to her, who became our spiritual Mother.
- For the definitive treatment on the brown scapular, read The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Catechesis and Ritual.
- The Blessed Virgin’s scapular should remind us that Christians have an apostolate against current extremes and extravagances in modes of dress. Clothes are a symbol of the person. Like the Christian heart, dress must be chaste and simple, for one judges the interior from the exterior. It should not be necessary to add that special attention be given this matter when preparing for church attendance. Examine yourself on how well you reflect Christian modesty in your dress and if you are a parent, how well you ensure that your children are modestly dressed.
- In New York City in East Harlem is one of the oldest festivals in America for Our Lady of Mount Carmel. See Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine of East Harlem – since 1881. Also Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY annually holds the Festival of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Paulinus of Nola (Festa Del Giglio). It is unique to see a scene that one would expect in Europe unfolding on the street of a major East coast city. You can view a You Tube clip right here. Also look around your area for Italian parishes, maybe one named after Our Lady of Mount Carmel? Many times the parish will host wonderful festivals in her honor.
- Watch this You Tube video to learn more about devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
- From the Catholic Culture library, the Scapular Devotion, a description of Different Kinds of Scapulars, The Brown Scapular and information on the Scapular Medal.
- Learn more about St. Simon Stock and the Brown Scapular.
Meditation: Matthew 12:14-21
Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Optional Memorial)
When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. (Matthew 12:15)
What just happened here? Jesus learned that some Pharisees were taking counsel against him “to put him to death,” and instead of confronting them, he left (Matthew 12:14)? He ran from the fight?
Exactly. Jesus could see that further discussion or argument or any other kind of engagement with his enemies would only distract from his ministry. He knew that he wouldn’t get very far with his detractors, so he made a shrewd decision to withdraw.
When Jesus left, “many people followed him” (Matthew 12:15). By walking away, he was able to continue healing people, feeding their hungry hearts, and preparing them for his kingdom. Imagine how many more people he was able to touch because he wasn’t preoccupied with defending himself! This isn’t the only example either. The Gospels are filled with stories of Jesus passing “through the midst of” angry crowds to continue on his way (Luke 4:30).
Does this mean Jesus was hiding from problems? No. Neither does he want us to hide from problems. He wants us to exercise the wisdom and discretion to know when it’s not worth the fight. He wants to help us discern when it’s better to leave things in God’s hands and walk away. He wants us to know that we don’t have to win every argument right away.
Are you in the midst of a conflict now? Maybe you’re holding a grudge against a family member, or you feel hurt because a co-worker or friend has misunderstood you. Ask the Holy Spirit if it’s prudent to walk away from it for a little while. Consider taking a break from defending yourself, and give God the freedom to work instead. It could unburden your mind and open your eyes to the needs of the people around you. Who knows? That break may be just what you need to clear your head and see your relationship from God’s perspective. You’re not hiding from conflict; you’re saving your energy for better things!
“Jesus, I place my challenges in your hands. Help me take my focus off myself and see the needs of other people.”
Psalm 10:1-4, 7-8, 14