On the 16th of July was the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I did not post on that day but wish to do so today in memory of the Feast. As today is a Saturday it is most fitting to do so as in many places in the world Saturday devotions are practiced in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The custom of honouring Our Lady on Saturday arose first in Carolingian monasteries at the end of the 8th century, and soon spread throughout Europe. The custom was incorporated into many liturgical books and became part of the heritage of many Religious Orders that were founded in the 13th century.
In the reform that followed the Council of Trent in the 16th century, the practice of offering a special votive Mass to Mary on Saturday was included into the new roman Missal. The Second Vatican Council ratifed this practice. The faithful can honour Our Lady in a number of ways on Saturdays: by attending Mass, offering the Rosary or performing some work of charity. The church does not mandate anything specific, but rather leaves it up to the individual believers or congregation to decide how will best suit their needs.
About the Feast:
The title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was given to Our Lady in honour of her appearence to St. Simon Stock, an English Carmelite in 1251. She showed him a large brown scapular (a type of apron worn by monastics to protect their habits while working) and gave it to him as a special grace for the Order. She said, ” This shall be to you and all Carmelites a privilege, that anyone who dies clothed in this shall not suffer eternal fire; and if wearing it they die, they shall be saved” -and released from Purgatory on the Saturday after their death. This has become known as the Sabbatine Privilege. The Brown Scapular can now be worn by anyone and is available also in the form of a medal.
A Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel:
O Mary, Virgin most powerful, I honour you under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It recalls the hermits who remained in God’s presence night and day on Mount Carmel in Palestine. Teach me also to stand always in God’s presence every moment of my life. And to do so, let me always stay in your presence, calling upon your help. Remember me in my needs and show yourself my Mother.
Shed upon me more and more the living light of the flame that made you blessed. Enkindle in me heavenly love with which you loved your dear Son Jesus. Obtain for me from Christ the gifts of humility, chastity and meekness, which were the fairest adornments of your immaculate soul. And after my earthly pilgrimage, grant that my soul may obtain the glory of heaven, through the merits of Christ and your loving intercession. Amen.