Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is the patroness of the Carmelite Order. Mt. Carmel, near the modern port city of Haifa, Israel, is not far from where Christ grew up. This had been a holy mountain long before the birth of Our Lord and by the twelfth century it had become a home to Carmelite monastics with a particular devotion to the Virgin Mary as their patroness. By the end of the thirteenth century assorted political and religious strife had caused the Carmelites to depart from Mt. Carmel and travel to Europe. Some Carmelites established monasteries as far north as England.
It was in England in the thirteenth century that one Carmelite, St. Simon Stock, is said to have received the Brown Scapular from Our Lady after having written the beautiful Flos Carmeli prayer. In (small t) tradition, St. Simon Stock was also given Mary’s promise of final perseverance and the Sabbatine privilege to those who die wearing the Brown Scapular. The Sabbatine Privilege is based on the Papal Bull issued on March 3, 1322 by Pope John XXII. It essentially says that those who wear the Scapular and fulfill two other conditions can obtain early liberation from Purgatory, through the special intercession of the Virgin Mary, on the day consecrated to her, Saturday. The Sabatine privilege has been confirmed by 16 popes. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s Feast Day is July 16.
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