Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Madonna of the Brown Scapular. It is our Lady of Mount Carmel who appeared to Saint Simon Stock, providing gentle instruction on Consecration to Her Sacred Heart through the Scapular, which led to the growth of the Carmelite Order. Consecration to Our Blessed Mother through wearing of the Scapular, however, is not reserved only for the Carmelites. Rather, it is a Church tradition available to all. As Pope Pius XII proclaimed, “Let the Scapular be for them a sign of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
“The sign of the Scapular nourishes the devotion of believers and makes them sensitive to the Virgin Mother's loving presence in their lives. The Scapular is essentially a 'habit'. Those who receive it are associated with the Order of Carmel and dedicate themselves to the service of Our Lady for the good of the whole Church.
Therefore two truths are evoked by the sign of the Scapular:
- 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
- the awareness that devotion to Mary 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.”
“When on the holy day of Pentecost the Apostles, through heavenly inspiration, spake in foreign tongues, and worked many wonders by the invocation of the most sacred Name of Jesus ; it is said that many men, who were walking in the footsteps of the holy prophets Elijah and Elisha, and had been prepared for the coming of Christ by the heralding of John the Baptist, saw and were assured of the truth. They at once embraced the faith of the Gospel, and began to venerate the most blessed Virgin (whose conversation and familiar intercourse they were happily able to enjoy) with a certain peculiar affection, so that they, before all others, built a chapel to that purest of Virgins on that very spot of Mount Carmel where Elijah of old had seen a cloud arising, a remarkable symbol of the Virgin.”
From the Divine Office: “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 Order devoted to the contemplative life under the patronage of Mary, the holy Mother of God.”
here, the Feast of Saint Simon Stock), the Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Simon, bestowing upon him the Brown Scapular. Saint Simon was a hermit who eventually joined the Carmelite Order, and after many years of tireless work in service of his brothers, was elected Vicar General. Following his election, he was graced with a visitation of Our Blessed Mother. According to Carmelite tradition, July 16, 1251, St. Simon Stock was given the Brown Scapular by the Blessed Virgin Mary, who said to him:
“Receive, my dear son, this scapular of thy Order, as the distinctive sign of my confraternity, and the mark of the privilege which I have obtained for thee and the children of Carmel. It is a sign of salvation, a safeguard in danger, and a special pledge of peace and protection till the end of time. Whosoever dies wearing this shall be preserved from eternal flames.”
Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, OCD, an authority on Carmelite spirituality, wrote that devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel means:
“a special call to the interior life, which is preeminently a Marian life. Our Lady wants us to resemble her not only in our outward vesture but, far more, in heart and spirit. If we gaze into Mary's soul, we shall see that grace in her has flowered into a spiritual life of incalcuable wealth: a life of recollection, prayer, uninterrupted oblation to God, continual contact, and intimate union with him. Mary's soul is a sanctuary reserved for God alone, where no human creature has ever left its trace, where love and zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of mankind reign supreme. Those who want to live their devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to the full must follow Mary into the depths of her interior life. Carmel is the symbol of the contemplative life, the life wholly dedicated to the quest for God, wholly orientated towards intimacy with God; and the one who has best realized this highest of ideals is Our Lady herself, 'Queen and Splendor of Carmel'."
(For a detailed explanation of the Scapular, written by Carmelite Sisters, click here.)
A PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN, OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel,
Splendor of Heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
assist me this my necessity.
O Star of the Sea,
help me and show me herein you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
Queen of Heaven and Earth,
I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart,
to succor me in this necessity;
there are none that can withstand your power.
O, show me herein you are my Mother,
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee.
I place this cause in your hands.
Inspired by the origins and spiritual history of the Holy Rosary, we continue our meditation on the psalms, one each day, in order, for 150 days.
Today’s Psalm: Psalm 82: Judgment Against Wicked Judges
1 God presides in the great assembly;
he gives judgment among the "gods":
2 "How long will you defend the unjust
and show partiality to the wicked?
3 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
4 Rescue the weak and needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
5 "They know nothing, they understand nothing.
They walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 "I said, 'You are "gods";
you are all sons of the Most High.'
7 But you will die like mere men;
you will fall like every other ruler."
8 Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance.
Day 197 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Consecration to Our Lady; Grace and Peace; Protection from sin.
Requested Intentions: Employment for husband and wife (K); Wisdom; Closer walk with Jesus (R); For successful conception (I); Thanksgiving for blessings received (K); Healing and financial assistance (F); Employment; Discernment of God’s will (A); Healing of illness (P); Small business assistance, blessings on jobs, financial aid for college student (M); Financial assistance (F); For a recovery and sanctification (X); For a daughter struggling with disease and illness (T); For all lost children (I); Prosperity, health, healing, and conversion for a family (M); Health and healing of a mother (A); Healing of heart and mind (T); Health for an ailing nephew (A); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Psalm: Psalm 82: Judgment Against Wicked Judges
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."