‘Our Lady of Mount Carmel’ - whose feast we celebrate on July 16.
“WHOSOEVER DIES IN THIS SCAPULAR SHALL NOT SUFFER ETERNAL FIRE” –
OUR LADY TO ST.SIMON STOCK
History of the Brown Scapular -
. . The Scapular devotion dates from the time of the prophet
Elias (Third Book of Kings). The people were then adoring
Baal (the devil). To bring the people back to God, Elias
prayed for a drought, which the people would understand
as a sign of Divine displeasure.
. . .After it did not rain for three and a half years, Elias went
up to Mount Carmel (in Palestine) and asked God to send
rain. After praying for a time, he sent his companion to see if
rain was coming. His companion went down the mountain
side, looked to the sea, then returned to Elias and reported
that he saw no rain. So Elias prayed again, then sent his
companion down to the sea, and again, there was no rain.
He prayed six times. Each time, there was no rain.
Then Elias prayed a seventh time. This time when the
man went down the mountain, he saw a little cloud coming
out of the sea in the shape of a foot. And this cloud grew
until it covered the whole land. And from that one cloud,
there came the rain.
. . . Now Elias understood this cloud represented God’s
Mother-to-come, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The cloud was in
the shape of a foot, and he knew the prophecy of Genesis,
that the Woman would crush the serpent’s head with Her
. . . Saint Bonaventure tells us that every page of the Old
Testament talks about the Blessed Virgin in one way or
another. Holy people have told us that there are two other
reasons why this cloud represented the Blessed Virgin:
. . .1) Because the sea was a salt-water sea but the cloud
was fresh water. The cloud represented Our Lady’s Immaculate
Conception. Our Lady arose out of sinful humanity, but She
alone was conceived without sin;
. . 2) The cloud also represented the Blessed Virgin as
Mediatrix of All Graces. The rain-water represents grace.
The rain-water that fell on all the parched land came from
one cloud. It came through the Mediatrix of All Graces.
. . .Elias, being a prophet, decided to commemorate this
event and he founded a community of hermits on Mount
Carmel to prepare for the coming of the Savior and His
Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Mantle of Elias is Mentioned in Sacred Scripture
. . .One time when Elias went across the river Jordan, he
took his Mantle off, touched the river with the Mantle and it
topped the river from flowing, so he could cross it (4 Kings
2:8). When he was to be taken up to Heaven, his successor
Eliseus asked Elias for his prophetic spirit. Elias said to him,
If I leave my Mantle behind for you, know that you will
receive this prophetic spirit.” Scripture tells us when the fiery
chariot came and took Elias to Heaven, it separated Elias and
Eliseus. Then Eliseus picked up the Mantle left behind by
Elias (4 Kings 2:13).
. On Pentecost, 10 days after Jesus ascended into Heaven,
the spiritual descendants of Elias and his followers came
down from Mount Carmel. These were the first to accept
the message of Christianity and be baptized by the Apostles.
When, at last, they were presented to Our Lady, and heard
the sweet words from Her lips, they were overcome with
a sense of majesty and sanctity which they never forgot.
They returned to their holy mountain, and erected the first
chapel ever built in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. From
that time, devotion to God’s Mother became the treasured
spiritual legacy of the hermits on Mount Carmel.
. . .It was to the successor of these hermits of Mount Carmel
that Our Lady appeared centuries later. The community
had just been transferred in 1241 from Mount Carmel in
. . Palestine to Aylesford, England. Saint Simon Stock was
made Superior General of the Order for men in 1245.
. . .Weighed down by all the external persecutions an
internal dissensions at that time, the 90-year-old Saint Simon
Stock had retired to his cell alone. On July 16, 1251 he poured
out his heart to the Blessed Virgin Mary — the Flower of Mount
Carmel — asking Her to help him and all the Carmelites.
. . .Then, accompanied by a multitude of angels, the Blessed
Virgin appeared to him, holding in Her hands the Scapular of
the Order, and said:
. .“This shall be to you and to all Carmelites a privilege
that anyone who dies clothed in this [Scapular] shall
not suffer eternal fire.”1
. . .The full Carmelite Scapular is made of brown wool, is
about 14 inches wide and is worn down to the knees in the
front and the back.
Saint Simon established the Confraternity of Mount
Carmel shortly after this apparition and thus the promise of
eternal salvation was extended to Carmelite Confraternity
members who died wearing the Carmelite Scapular. Pope
Urban IV, in 1262, extended special blessings to these
. . .Already by 1276 AD the abbreviated form of the Scapular
(the Scapular size seen on page 11) existed as can be seen by
the still-preserved small Scapular of Pope Gregory X, who
died that year and was buried with his Scapular on. Five
hundred and fifty-four years later, it was found intact in 1830
in his tomb and is still preserved in the Arezzo (Italy) museum
today. There are historical records of Carmelite Confraternity
meetings of lay people in Florence, Italy in 1280 AD.
A Sign of Salvation and Protection
Read more on:
Two great founders of Religious Orders, Saint Alphonsus
of the Redemptorists and Saint John Bosco of the Salesians,
were devoted to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and both wore
Her Brown Scapular. When they died, each was buried
in his priestly vestments and Scapular. Many years later,
their graves were opened, the bodies and sacred vestments
in which they were buried were dust. BUT THE BROWN
SCAPULAR WHICH EACH WAS WEARING WAS
PERFECTLY INTACT. The Scapular of Saint Alphonsus is
displayed in his Monastery in Rome
Miracles of the Brown Scapular
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for the short ending.
"Say the Rosary every day...Pray, pray a lot and offer sacrifices for sinners...
I'm Our Lady of the Rosary "...Our Lady at Fatima 1917