Alleluia!!!!! Today is the glorious Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which was instituted in 1726 to be celebrated by the Universal Church. Today, we celebrate in union with all of the Carmelites worldwide the Feast of our Queen, Sister, and Mother.
The roots of this feast can be traced back to the Old Testament; to the great and holy Prophet Elijah. Elijah was filled with fiery zeal for the Lord, as he lived a virgin contemplative life as a hermit on Mount Carmel. Tradition tells us that the Lord revealed to Elijah that the Mother of the Redeemer would – like himself – be a vowed virgin; however unlike him -sinless from conception (The Carmelite Way John Welch, O. Carm 56). This zealous prophet is honored as Saint Elijah, model and spiritual father of the Carmelites.
The Order of Carmelites was instituted to Honor the Blessed Mother. As early as 1294, Papal documents state that the “Holy Order [was] divinely instituted in honor of Blessed Mary, the glorious Virgin (Welcome to Carmel, “Carmel and Our Lady,” Eamon R. Carroll, O Carm. 120).” It has been said that the Carmelite vocation is two-fold: first, vacare Deo – “to be at rest in God,” and second, Mariae laudibus quotide vacare – “to be caught up daily in the praises of Mary (Welcome to Carmel, “Carmel and Our Lady,” Eamon R. Carroll, O Carm. 123).” The Carmelites have a very special and unique relationship with Mary. They venerate the loving Queen and Mother who protects us with her Scapular. Mary is also venerated as a sister journeying with us to the Summit- which is Christ.
On her feast, let us thank Our Lady of Mount Carmel with the ancient Carmelite hymn.
Flos Carméli, vitis fl orígera,
Splendor cæli, virgo puérpera singuláris:
Mater mitis, sed viri néscia
Carmelítis da privilégia,
O Flower of Carmel, ever-flowering vine,
Splendor of heaven, singular Virgin in labor:
O meek Mother, but not known to man
To the Carmelites give favors,
O Star of the Sea.
– ancient Carmelite hymn, Prayer of St. Simon Stock
Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Protect and Pray for us !!!!