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Our Lady of Mount Carmel
July 16th
From the Hour of Matins

    When on the holy day of Pentecost, the Apostles, through heavenly inspiration spoke diverse tongues and worked many miracles by the invocation of the most holy name of Jesus, it is said that many men who were walking in the footsteps of the prophets Elias and Eliseus, and had been prepared for the coming of the Christ by the preaching of John the Baptist, saw and acknowledged the truth, and at once embraced the faith of the Gospel. These new Christians were so happy to be able to enjoy the company of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and venerated her with so special an affection, that they, before all others, built a chapel to the purest of Virgins on that very spot of Carmel where Elias of old had seen the cloud, a remarkable type of the Virgin ascending.

    Many times each day they came together to the new oratory, and with pious prayers, ceremonies, and praises, honored the Blessed Virgin Mary as the protector of their order. For this reason, people from all parts began to call them the Brethren of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel; and the sovereign pontiffs not only confirmed this title, but granted special indulgences to whoever called either the whole Order or individual brothers by that name. But the most noble Virgin not only gave them her name and protection; she also bestowed upon blessed Simon, the Englishman, the holy Scapular as a token, wishing the holy Order to be distinguished by that garment, and to be protected by it from the evils which were assailing it. Moreover, as formerly the Order was unknown in Europe, and on this account, many were importuning Honorious III for its abolition, the loving Virgin Mary appeared by night to Pope Honorious, and clearly bade him receive both the order and its members with kindness.

    The Blessed Virgin has enriched the Order so dear to her with many privileges, not only in this world, but also in the next; for everywhere she is most powerful and most merciful. It is piously believed that those of her children who have been enrolled in the Confraternity of the Scapular, have fulfilled the small abstinences, said the prayers prescribed, and maintained chastity according to their state in life, will be consoled by our Lady while they are being purified by the fire of purgatory, and will, through her intercession, be taken thence as soon as possible to the country of heaven. The Order, thus laden with so many graces, has ordained that this solemn commemoration of the Blessed Virgin should be observed annually forever, to her greater glory.

Collect:

    Thou hast honored the Order of Carmel, Lord Jesus, by consecrating it in a special way to the Virgin Mary, Thy Mother. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we who today celebrate the solemnity of her memory may, under her protection, attain everlasting joy. This we ask of Thee, Lord Jesus....

 



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