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12 Jul, 2024

Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Renewed Hope In Her Everlasting Presence

Who Is Our Lady of Mount Carmel?

This is yet again another spectacular Marian title. Even more spectacular is that mother Mary personally made a promise to devotees.

The title is borrowed from Mount Carmel itself. It is noteworthy to state that the mountain has spiritual relevance as far as the time of prophet Elijah.

In those days, Elijah goes to the mountain to pray. It was on it that he challenged the prophets of Baal and prayed for salvation over the land of Israel.

Down the line in the 12th century, a community of monks living on this mountain continued the trend, rendering devotions in honor of our lady on Mount Carmel. They built a church and monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary.

The continual use of this mountain for devotions asserts the fact that it is a holy mountain.

Our Lady of Everlasting Love

While the religious community, now known as the Carmelite Order, on mount Carmel grew significantly, it only enjoyed a little popularity until the 13th century.

What pushed the Carmelite order to the spotlight started with a political turmoil that toppled the Latin kingdom of the crusaders. This made the Carmelite brothers flee and scatter in Europe, from Cypress to Sicily, through France to England and other countries.

Unfortunately, they did not find a home in Europe. They were not accepted and among themselves, they wondered if they should maintain their hermit traditions or join orders like the Franciscans and Dominicans.

They were was facing persecution from just every angle. From clergies and other orders. This made them turn to our lady for help.

As a response, our lady appeared to St. Stock Simon on Sunday of 16th of July 1251. She was carrying the child Jesus in her right arm and holding a scapular in her left hand.

She handed St. Stock Simon the scapular and made him promise thus: “receive, my beloved son, this habit of thy Order. This shall be to thee and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace”

The scapular is a cloth worn above the shoulders and falling to the feet front and back.

This Marian devotion grew and gradually diffused into the church evidenced by the use of Scapular by the laity.

The Scapular was modified to be what it is known as today. Two pieces of cloth joined by two strings and worn on the shoulders.

The wearers of the scapular pledge allegiance to being devout to virgin Mary, the spiritual mother of the Carmelites. This devotion became so popular in the church due to miracles and wonders attributed to the devotion of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Always There To Aid in Our Difficult Moments

Let’s consider how Mother Mary watches over her church. She is always interested in our difficulties and her apparition is a confirmation of this.

This time, it was to St. Simon Stock the Superior General of the Carmelite order. An order that started on the mountain and flowed into the church just at the time it was meant to die.

One peculiarity here is that this devotion neither started with a statue nor with an apparition. Instead, it was started for our Lady. It persevered through challenges that threatened its existence and at the very point of death, our lady swung it into life with her assurance.

This devotion started with little more than the hard rocks of the mountain and dedicated hearts full of resilience. And when they were chased away from the Carmel, they did well not to leave their hearts behind.

Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Oh, beautiful lady of Carmel, mother of the Carmelites, gate of heaven.

You showed yourself to us when the Carmelites called you. A confirmation that you’re with us, can hear us, and are interested in us.

Oh mother, hear me when I beckon on you. In my challenges, difficult situations, and life-threatening moments, show yourself to me and succor me.

Remind me of your everlasting presence when I’m about to lose hope. When prosecuted and rejected by others.

Give me a resilient heart just like you gave to the early Carmelites so that I may persevere through hard times without perverting.

I pray oh mother of Carmelites, that with your help, I may obtain eternal peace. Amen.

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