Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Brown Scapular)

Mt. Carmel is the beautiful mountain, facing west, in the northern part of Israel. It is midway between the country of the Jews and the cities of the Gentiles. It is the mountain where the Prophet Elias dwelt and started the long tradition of contemplative life and prayer which still prevails in the Catholic Church. It was from the mountain of Carmel that the first group wanting to be baptized by water came down to Jerusalem on the feast of Pentecost. They were many Gentiles, with a few believing Jews. They were the first large group of official and sacramental Christians given to the Church. One of the fruits of the tradition of Mount Carmel has been the Carmelite Order. This is a religious group of both men and women which has given the Catholic Church such illustrious saints as St. John of the Cross, and St. Simon Stock, among men and St. Teresa of Avila and St Therese of the Child Jesus, among women. It was on the feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, in 1251, that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a Carmelite priest in England, St. Simon Stock, and gave him the brown scapular. She promised that anyone who would wear this little emblem of love and loyalty to her would receive the grace of final perseverance. Such is the generosity of the Virgin Most Powerful, the Mediatrix of all graces, in return for a simple favor of devotion shown her by those who truly want her to be their Queen.

These were the words spoken by the Mother of God to St. Simon Stock with regard to the brown scapular: “This shall be the privilege for you and for all Carmelites that anyone dying in this habit shall be saved.” This privilege is extended to all the laity willing to be invested in the is scapular, and who perpetually wear it. Feast day Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is July 16. On our trips to the Holy Land we enroll everyone in the Order of Mt. Carmel on Mt. Carmel. What better place to dedicate ourselves to Our Lady than on Mt. Carmel. That is why you should come on a pilgrimage with Christopher Cross.

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