Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Today, the church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is a title given to Mary, the mother of Jesus, in honor of her having given the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to Saint Simon Stock (see image). According to a pious tradition this took place at Cambridge in England in 1251. Patrick Duffy tells the story of the Carmelites.
A scapular was originally a form of clothing, which monks wore when they were working. With the passage of time, it got a symbolic meaning: the cross to be borne every day as disciples and followers of Christ. In some religious orders, like the Carmelites, the scapular became a symbol of their way of life. It also became a badge of association with a particular religious group in a lay third order. It signifies commitment to follow Jesus, like Mary, the perfect model of a disciple of Jesus.

A pious tradition tells how Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock at Cambridge, England, in 1251. In answer to his appeal for help for his oppressed order, she appeared to him with a scapular in her hand (see image) and said: “Take, beloved son, this scapular of thine order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant”. This promise is extended to all who out of devotion to the Mother of God wear her habit or badge; they are as if they were affiliated to the Carmelite Order.

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