Saint of the day
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel is a mountain overlooking the plain of Galilee. It became famous because it was there that the prophet Elijah, who lived before Our Lord, was born. Elijah worked a miracle there. Chapter 18 of the Bible’s First Book of Kings tells how Elijah stood up to the 450 prophets of the false god, Baal. Through his prayers, Elijah obtained a miracle from God to prove that Elijah’s God was the true God.
Centuries later, in the thirteenth century, a group of European monks began to live on Mount Carmel. They honored Mary, the Mother of God, as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For this reason the people began to call them friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. This was the way the Carmelite Order began. Pope Honorius III approved the Order’s Rule in 1226. Simon Stock, an Englishman, became the superior of all the Carmelites in 1247. He helped the Order expand and adapt to the times. He patterned the Order on the Dominicans and Franciscans.
On July 16, 1251, Mary appeared to St. Simon and gave him the brown scapular. She promised her protection to all those who would wear the blessed habit. Many miracles proved her words. St. Pius X was pope from 1903 until 1914. He said that people could have the same blessings if they would wear the scapular medal. This medal has a picture of Our Lady of the Scapular on one side and the Sacred Heart on the other. Simon Stock died in Bordeaux, France, in 1265.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is our Mother, too. We can ask her to help us be more like Jesus. She’ll protect us in life and help us at the time of death. We can show our devotion to Mary by wearing the brown scapular or scapular medal.