Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Today, July 16, the Church celebrates the Memorial Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

From Blessings of the Daily: A Monastic Book of Days by Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette:

"Though only a memorial on the calendar, it is Our Lady's only feast in July.  In addition, it is a solemn feast for the Carmelite family, who honors Mary today as their special patroness.  The origins of the order goes back to the twelfth century, to Mount Carmel in Palestine, where Our Lady and the prophet Elias inspired the lifestyle of their first hermits.  These hermits, following Mary's example, applied themselves to the cultivation of inner prayer and contemplation.  She was their model, their protector, and their mother.  Later on, when she appeared to Saint Simon Stock, she promised her special blessing to all those who would wear the habit of the order.  It is not surprising, therefore, that an order singularly blessed by Our Lady has rendered great fruits of holiness throughout the centuries.  One has only to think of the great Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Therese of Lisieux, or Edith Stein.

Saint Stephen Stock receiving the Brown Scapular

Today, we rejoice greatly, Gaudens gaudebo, in honoring the memory of the Mother of God.  Her white mantle covers all of her children, in every generation, and this includes both saints and sinners.  As we move forward with life's destination, we entrust ourselves to her intercession.  No matter how many times we may have sinned or fallen along the way, she, who is Refuge of Sinners, is there to assist and sustain us.  We pray: 'Holy Mother of God, Queen and Beauty of Carmel, we rejoice today in your presence.  Shelter us always under your mantle and save us from the power of evil.  Amen.'"

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