16 July 2008

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

The glory of God is given to her,
the beauty of Carmel and Sharon;
they shall see the glory of the Lord,
and the splendor of our God.
Isaiah 35:2
Flower of Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Virgin Mother of the Son of God. Amiable Mother, ever Virgin, give to thy children of Carmel the Privilege of thy Protection, Star of the Sea! ~from the prayer of St. Simon Stock

The Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock at Cambridge, England, on Sunday, 16 June, 1251. She presented him with a brown scapular and said: "Take, beloved son this scapular of thy 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".

The Scapular is a long, narrow garment, which simply covers the shoulders and falls equally before and behind nearly to the feet. The use of this garment is of the greatest antiquity in Carmel. John 44th, who lived about the year 400, in the work entitled, The Institution of the First Monks, gives a description of a garment almost identical in form with the present Scapular, which he calls superhumerale, and which was worn by the Solitaries of the Old Testament. The Abbot Dorotheus speaks also of a garment like it, in use amongst the Monks of Syria and Palestine, which he calls in Greek analabe.

Speaking of Carmelites...
Holy Annunciation Monastery Byzantine Discalced Carmelite Nuns
The Monastery and Fraternity of St. Elie in Saint-Remy, France

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