Lady of Mount Carmel
The Brown Scapular
Feast Day: July 16
Order of Carmelites takes its name from Mount Carmel in Israel, which was the
first place dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and where a chapel was erected in
her honor before her Assumption into heaven. Saint Simon Stock entered the Carmelite Order in Kent, England, when he was
40 years old. He was sent to Mt. Carmel in the Holy Land where he led a life
of prayer and penance until he and most of his brother Religious were forced
to leave by the victorious infidels. The group sailed for England. At a
General Chapter which was held in Aylesford, England, in 1245 A.D., St. Simon
was unanimously elected Prior General of the Carmelite Order.
St. Simon Stock had great devotion to Our
Blessed Mother. This may help to explain why the Carmelite Order began to
prosper under his guidance despite considerable opposition. In response to his
appeal to Our Blessed Mother for help for his oppressed Order, on July 16,
1251 A.D. (he was 86 years old at the time), Mary appeared to him holding a
Brown Scapular in her hand. Mary said to him:
"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." This was truly a great gift and a great promise from the
Mother of God.
After this apparition, Friar Stock
went on to establish Carmelite communities near university towns in England,
France and Italy. He became the Superior-General of his order several years
after the apparition. Until very recently, the brown scapular was one of the
most widely used religious symbols of personal dedication to the mission of
Mary found in her last recorded words in the Bible (John 2:5). The promotion
and use of all types of Marian devotional symbols has declined dramatically
since the 1960's.
For over 700 years, the Brown Scapular
of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has been one of the most precious gifts and
highly-indulgenced Sacramentals of our Church. It is more than that, however;
it is in reality a garment, given to us by Our Blessed Mother which makes us
her special children. Blessing and clothing with the Scapular of the 'Blessed
Virgin of Mt. Carmel' enrolls the individual in the Scapular Confraternity and
admits him to a share in all the spiritual works performed by the Religious of
At Lourdes in 1858, the Virgin chose to
make her last apparition on July 16th, feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the
day the Church commemorates her apparitions to Saint Simon Stock. And at Fatima
on October 13, 1917, it is as Our Lady of Mount Carmel that Mary appeared when
she said farewell to the three children. Throughout the ages, the Queen of
Carmel has always kept a faithful watch over the destinies of her cherished
children on earth.
Patron of : the Carmelites
The Brown Scapular
Prayer To Our Lady Of Mount Carmel
O Most Blessed and Immaculate Virgin, Ornament and
Beauty of Mount Carmel, thou who beholdest with thy special kindness
those who wear thy blessed Scapular, look lovingly upon me, and cover me
with the mantle of thy motherly protection. Fortify my weakness with thy
power, enlighten the darkness of my understanding with thy wisdom,
increase Faith, Hope and Charity in me, adorn my soul with the graces
and virtues that will make me pleasing to thee and thy divine Son.
Assist me during my life, and console me at the hour of my death and
present me to the Most Blessed Trinity as thy devoted servant, to praise
and bless thee in heaven forever.
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