Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This is another title upon which Our Lady is invoked.
There is only ONE Blessed Mother Mary, but the Church has many titles for her; and rightfully so, she is the model for all Christians to imitate if they wish to be Christ-like.
The feast day has its origin within the Carmelite tradition. The Carmelite order is a religious group of priests, brothers and sisters who take vows. It is believed that this group originated with Elijah and Elisha of the Old Testament.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251 and introduced the sacramental called the “Brown Scapular.” The Brown Scapular is a cloth that is placed over the shoulders with one piece resting on the mid back and the other on the mid chest. This is why the word “scapular” is used which comes from ‘scapula’ or the shoulder blade. Brown Scapulars are usually made of wool and symbolize the yolk of Christ.(Matthew 11:30) A larger version is used by different religious orders within the Catholic Church.
The Brown Scapular has to be imposed with a specific rite. Not anyone can just wear it and expect to receive the spiritual benefits. Those spiritual benefits include indulgences, special protection from danger, graces to aid in perseverance and deliverance from Purgatory.
“Take this Scapular, it shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace. Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.”
– Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to St. Simon Stock
May Our Lady of Mount Carmel pray for us and for the souls in Purgatory.