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Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Greater Double White vestments

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

According to a pious tradition, a number of men who walked in the footsteps of the holy Prophets Elias and Eliseus, and whom John the Baptist had prepared for the advent of Jesus, embraced the Christian faith, and erected the first church to the Blessed Virgin on Mount Carmel, at the very spot where Elias had seen a cloud arise, a figure of the fecundity of the Mother of God. They were called: Brethren of Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel (Collect). These religious came to Europe in the thirteenth century and in 1245 Innocent IV gave his approbration to their rule under the generalship of Simon Stock, an English saint.

On July 6, 1251, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock who was then the Superior General of the Carmelite Order, placed in his hands the habit of the Carmelites, and said, “Take, beloved son, this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and for all Carmelites a sign of grace. Whoever dies in this garment will not suffer everlasting fire. It is a sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant.” Innocent IV blessed this habit and attached to it many privileges, not only for the members of the Order, but also for those who entered the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. By wearing the small scapular, they participate in all their merits and may hope to obtain through the Virgin a prompt delivery from Purgatory (John XXII in the Sabbatine bull, March 3, 1322). The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was extended to all Christendom by Benedict XIII, in 1726.

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