Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid 13th century. They built in the midst of their hermitages a chapel which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they conceived of in chivalric terms as the “Lady of the place.” Our Lady of Mount Carmel is also the patron saint of Chile.
Since the 15th century, popular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel has centered on what is commonly known as the Brown Scapular, or, the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This sacramental is associated with promises of Mary’s special aid for the salvation of the devoted wearer. Traditionally, Mary is said to have given the Scapular to an early Carmelite named Saint Simon Stock. The liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on July 16.
The solemn liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was probably first celebrated in England in the later part of the 14th century. Its object was thanksgiving to Mary, the patroness of the Carmelite Order, for the benefits she had accorded to it through its rocky early existence. The institution of the feast may have come in the wake of the vindication of their title “Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary” at Cambridge, England in 1374. The date chosen was July 17; on the European mainland this date conflicted with the feast of St. Alexis, necessitating a shift to July 16, which remains the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel throughout the Catholic Church.
The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is known to many Catholic faithful as the “scapular feast,” associated with the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a devotional sacramental signifying the wearer’s consecration to Mary and affiliation with the Carmelite Order.
O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel, Fruitful Vine, Splendour of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity. O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to help me in this necessity; there are none that can withstand your power.
O, show me herein you are my Mother, O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (3 times)
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands. (3 times)