Saturday, July 16, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

“Whosoever dies clothed in this Scapular shall not suffer
eternal fire.” - words of Our Lady to Saint Simon Stock

Mount Carmel is a mountain overlooking the plain of Galilee. It became famous when the prophet Elijah, who lived before Our Lord, was born. Elijah worked a miracle there. Chapter 18 of the Bible's First Book of Kings tells how Elijah stood up to the 450 prophets of the false god Baal. Through his prayers, Elijah obtained a miracle from God to prove that Elijah's God was the true God.

Centuries later, in the 1200s, a group of European monks began to live on Mount Carmel. They honored Mary the Mother of God as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For this reason the people began to call them friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. This was the way the Carmelite order began. Pope Honorius III approved the order's rule in 1226. Simon Stock, an Englishman, became the superior of all the Carmelites in 1247. He helped the order expand and adapt to the times. He patterned the order on the Dominicans and Franciscans.

On July 16, 1251, Mary appeared to St. Simon and gave him the brown scapular. She promised her protection to all those who would wear the blessed habit. Many miracles proved her words. St. Pius X was pope from 1903 until 1914. He said that people could have the same blessings if they would wear the scapular medal. This medal has a picture of Our Lady of the Scapular on one side and the Sacred Heart on the other. Simon Stock died in Bordeaux, France, in 1265.

Reflection: "Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart." (Luke 2:19)

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