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15th Sunday Ordinary Time July 15, 2018
A Message from Fr. Siby:
July 16th – Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
On July 16 we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The title of Our Lady of Carmel can be traced back to the hermits who used to live in the renowned and blessed mountain at the time of the Old Testament. There, this pious and austere community prayed in expectation of the advent of a Virgin-Mother who would bring salvation to mankind. In the 12th century they had a chapel dedicated to Our Lady. By the 13th century they became known as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel”. They soon celebrated a special Mass and Office in honor of Mary. In 1726 it became a celebration of the universal Church under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For centuries the Carmelites have seen themselves as specially related to Mary. Their great saints and theologians have promoted devotion to her and championed the mystery of her Immaculate Conception.
In 1254, St. Simon Stock was elected Superior General of the Carmelite Order. Under his leadership this congregation flourished but was persecuted. So one day, Simon Stock, as he watched his Congregation being persecuted, asked the Virgin for protection. Tradition tells us that the Virgin came down from heaven with the scapular in her hands and told Simon: This is the sign of protection that I bring you. All those who die carrying this scapular will not see the flames of hell. This protection of the Virgin made people feel so powerful that even now, centuries removed from that original experience and even in places where there are no Carmelites, this holy scapular is still seen as a sign of Mary’s protection and a sign that continues to call people and make them feel that they are the beloved children of the Virgin Mary.
According to tradition, those who wear the scapular faithfully and remain devoted to the Blessed Virgin until death will be granted the grace of final perseverance and be delivered from Purgatory early. As we prepare to celebrate this beautiful feast let us place ourselves under the motherly protection of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Through her support let us reach the true mount, which is Christ.
** Vocations to the Passionist Order: If anyone is considering becoming a Passionist Priest or Brother, please log onto firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Fr. Lee Havey, C.P. for more information