Solemn Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel (Solemnity)
Sacred Scripture exalts the beauty of Mount Carmel, there where Prophet Elisha defended the purity of the faith of Israel in the living God. In those places, at the beginning of the XIII century the Carmelite Order, had, as to say its juridical origin, under the title of Blessed Mary of Carmel.
This title, almost a compendium of the benefits of the Patroness, began to be celebrated since the XIV century, first in England, and gradually in the whole Order. It reached its greatest splendour at the beginning of the XVII century, when the General Chapter declared it the principal and special feast of the Order, and Paul V recognized it as the distinctive title of the Confraternity of the Scapular.
Mary in the Carmelite Constitutions
Carmelites see in the Virgin Mary, Mother of God
and archetype of the Church,
the perfect image of all that they want and hope to be.
For this reason, Carmelites have always thought of Mary
as the Patron of the Order,
its Mother and Splendour;
she is constantly before their eyes and in their hearts
as “the Virgin Most Pure.”
Looking to her, and living in spiritual intimacy with her,
we learn to stand before God,
and with one another,
as the Lord’s brothers.
Mary lives among us, as mother and sister,
attentive to our needs;
along with us she waits and hopes,
suffers and rejoices.
The scapular is a sign of Mary’s permanent
and constant motherly love for Carmelite brothers and sisters.
By their devotion to the scapular,
faithful to a tradition in the Order, especially since the 16th century,
Carmelites express the loving closeness of Mary to the people of God;
it is a sign of consecration to Mary,
a means of uniting the faithful to the Order,
and an effective and popular means of evangelisation.