15 Jul 2011

Our Lady of Mount Carmel



July 16th is the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid 13th centuries. They built a chapel in the midst of their hermitages which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they conceived of in chivalric terms as the "Lady of the place"

Since the 15th century, popular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel has centered on the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel also known as the Brown Scapular, a sacramental associated with promises of Mary's special aid for the salvation of the devoted wearer. Traditionally, Mary is said to have given the Scapular to an early Carmelite named Saint Simon Stock. The liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on 16 July.

"Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is bound to the history and spiritual values of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and is expressed through the scapular. Thus, whoever receives the scapular becomes a member of the order and pledges him/herself to live according to its spirituality in accordance with the characteristics of his/her state in life."

"The scapular is a Marian habit or garment. It is both a sign and pledge. A sign of belonging to Mary; a pledge of her motherly protection, not only in this life but after death. As a sign, it is a conventional sign signifying three elements strictly joined: first, belonging to a religious family particularly devoted to Mary, especially dear to Mary, the Carmelite Order; second, consecration to Mary, devotion to and trust in her Immaculate Heart; third an incitement to become like Mary by imitating her virtues, above all her humility, chastity, and spirit of prayer."

Dr Lillis has a reflection on Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Blessed John Paul II.

A hymn associated with the feast is the Flos Carmeli (Flower of Carmel). Flos Carmeli was used by the Carmelites as the sequence for the Feast of St. Simon Stock, and, since 1663, for the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. It also appears in an ancient metrical office of Carmel as an antiphon and responsory. Its composition is ascribed to St. Simon Stock himself (ca 1165 - 1265).

FLOS Carmeli,
vitis florigera,
splendor caeli,
virgo puerpera
singularis.
FLOWER of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Childbearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.
Mater mitis
sed viri nescia
Carmelitis
esto propitia
stella maris.
Mother so tender,
Who no man didst know,
On Carmel's children
Thy favors bestow.
Star of the Sea.
Radix Iesse
germinans flosculum
nos ad esse
tecum in saeculum
patiaris.
Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here.
Inter spinas
quae crescis lilium
serva puras
mentes fragilium
tutelaris.
Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee.
Armatura
fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium
scapularis.
Strongest of armor,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press'd in the fight,
we call to thee.
Per incerta
prudens consilium
per adversa
iuge solatium
largiaris.
Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
You give to those
who turn to thee.
Mater dulcis
Carmeli domina,
plebem tuam
reple laetitia
qua bearis.
O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with your servants
That gladness you gained
and now enjoy.
Paradisi
clavis et ianua,
fac nos duci
quo, Mater, gloria
coronaris. Amen
Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.

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