“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
FRIDAY, July 16th Mt. 12: 1-8 OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL “The Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”
- Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. He is also Lord of our hearts! Our Lord earnestly desires that we honor and love the one whom He loved most on earth and loves most in Heaven, the Immaculate and Blessed Virgin Mary.
- We know her under many titles, one of the most famous being Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with the investment and wearing of the brown Scapular. If we are not invested with the brown Scapular, after Fr. Ed’s exposition of its purpose and power, may we become invested! If we already wear the brown Scapular, may we renew our consecration, love and devotion to Our Lady trusting in her protection now and at the hour of our death!
OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL AND THE SCAPULAR by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
Every year on the 16th of July, the Church celebrates Our Lady of Mount Carmel. She is the Patroness in a very special way of the Carmelite Order, the male and female branches, as well as the Lay Associates.
HONORING MARY. Our Lady can be honored in many different ways, but in a very special way on July 16th under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Therefore, in this short presentation we would like to offer key information to foster our devotion to Mary under the title Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and in a most special way with respect to the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
THE SCAPULAR AND A VERY SPECIAL SAINT: SAINT SIMON STOCK! According to tradition, on July 16, 1251 Our Lady appeared to a Religious priest of the Order of the Carmelites, Saint Simon Stock, and she handed to him a brown woolen Scapular. She said to him: This shall be the privilege for you and the Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall not suffer eternal fire.” In the course of history, the investment, wearing, and love of the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has spread far and wide.
MEANING OF SCAPULAR. The actual meaning of the word Scapular (Scapula) is that of shoulder because the Scapular is worn over one’s shoulder.
COMPOSITION OF THE SCAPULAR OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL. The Scapular is made of brown wool with a string or cord actually connecting two Scapulars—a Scapular to be worn in front and a second Scapular to be worn in back; as such, the Scapular is placed over the shoulder. Moreover, this Scapular is to be worn at all times—except when taking a shower or bath.
GARMENT OF GRACE. The Scapular is known as the Garment of Grace. There is a wonderful little booklet composed and published by Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the title GARMENT OF GRACE. Hopefully you will purchase this little gem and read it. Not only does it explain the meaning and history of the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, but at the end of the pamphlet there is a short but very clear catechesis on the Scapular.
BELONGING TO MARY: EXTERIOR SIGN—THE SCAPULAR. We can better understand the meaning of the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel by means of an analogy. A soldier wears his uniform—each branch of the armed services has their own specific attire; a baseball player wears the uniform of his team and that differentiates him from the other teams; policemen, firemen, and medical personnel are identified by the garb they wear. In a parallel sense, Mary has her followers. They distinguish themselves by the wearing of the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
FAMILY OF MARY. If you like, giving the concept a different twist, those who wear the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel belong to the school of Mary and to the family of Mary. Even more profound and intimate, those who wear the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel belong to the Heart of Mary and are embraced by the Immaculate and most pure Heart of Mary. In a real sense, they are seeking the Heart of Mary as their refuge, their haven, their sure place of security amidst the many trials and temptations in life.
OUR LADY OF FATIMA AND THE SCAPULAR. Our Lady of Fatima appeared six times to the little children of Fatima—Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta. Our Lady promised a miracle in October. This was the miracle of the sun spinning in the sky like a fiery kaleidoscope. In addition to this, the children saw a vision in the sky of the Child Jesus in the arms of Saint Joseph, Our Lady of Sorrows, and also Our Lady of Mount Carmel appeared. This noteworthy appearance of Our Lady of Mount Carmel speaks very eloquently about the fact that she wears the Scapular and ardently desires that those who really love her should also wear the Scapular as their sign of devotion and consecration to her.
SCAPULAR AND LITTLE CHILDREN. For many years, it was the custom in parishes on the day of First Holy Communion to invest the children with the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The priest would impose the Scapular over the shoulders of each child, and then enroll the child in the Confraternity of the Scapular, and that was for life!!!
THE WORDS OF INVESTITURE / ENROLLMENT. The following are the words said by a priest enrolling a person who can be an adult, teen, child, anyone who so desires: “Receive this blessed habit, praying to the most holy Virgin that by Her merits you may wear it without stain, and that She may guard you from all evil and bring you to eternal life.”
Then the priest continues with the following words in which one becomes an official member and part of the Religious Order of Mount Carmel: “By the power granted to me, I admit you to participate in all of the spiritual goods, which through the gracious help of Jesus Christ are performed by the religious Order of Mount Carmel. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Then there is the concluding prayer, which indeed is worthy of deep meditation: “May the Creator of Heaven and earth, Almighty God bless + you; who has deigned to unite you to the confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel. We beseech her, in the hour of your death, to crush the head of the ancient serpent, so that you may in the end win the everlasting palm and crown of the heavenly inheritance, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
LIVING OUT THE MEANING OF THE SCAPULAR. How then should we live out the investiture and wearing of the Scapular? There are various gestures or actions we can carry out:
1. WEAR THE SCAPULAR WITH PRIDE. Always wear the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and with great love, pride, and trust. You truly belong to Mary; you are a noble member of Mary’s family.
2. CONSECRATE YOURSELF TO MARY. Upon arising every morning make it a habit to consecrate your whole self, your whole being to Mary—your heart, mind, body, and soul, your past, present, and future.
Mary, my Queen and my Mother, I give myself wholly to you. To show my devotion to you, I consecrate to you this day my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my entire being without reserve. Since I am your own dear Mother, keep me and guard me as your property and possession. Amen.
3. KISS THE SCAPULAR. The kiss is a universal symbol of love. By kissing the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, you are like a little child kissing his mother with tenderness and love.
4. INDULGENCE. The Church is so pleased with the gesture of kissing the Scapular that it offers a Partial Indulgence every time it is kissed. You can offer this for the poor souls in Purgatory to alleviate their suffering and facilitate their speedy entrance to heaven.
5. MARY’S EMBRACE. The Scapular is worn over your shoulder, as well as over your heart. It should be a constant reminder of Mary’s presence in your life and of her loving and maternal embrace.
6. IMITATE MARY. If truly we love Jesus and Mary, then we should strive to imitate Mary.
7. IN WHAT VIRTUES? In all virtues, but most especially in her profound humility, untarnished purity, and ardent charity—love for God and neighbor!
8. TEMPTATIONS? In times of temptation, it is important to call on Mary, and if possible to kiss the Scapular, begging Mary to ward off the evil spirits in your life.
9. APOSTLE OF MARY. If we really love Mary, then we should do all in our power to make her known. Try to be an Apostle of Mary by getting people to pray the Holy Rosary and to wear the brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
10. DIE WITH THE SCAPULAR. Beg for the grace to die in the state of grace with Mary’s Scapular surrounding you, and especially with Mary’s Scapular over your heart!!!