Friday, July 16, 2010

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel



Today is a special day for all who wear the scapular, especially for Carmelites. It is the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg. duplex" to celebrate the victory of their order over its enemies EWTN's page on the Brown Scapular
on obtaining the approbation of its name and constitution from Honorius III on 30 Jan., 1226 (see Colvenerius, "Kal. Mar.", 30 Jan. "Summa Aurea", III, 737). The feast was assigned to 16 July, because on that date in 1251, according to Carmelite traditions, the scapular was given by the Blessed Virgin to St. Simon Stock; it was first approved by Sixtus V in 1587. After Cardinal Bellarmine had examined the Carmelite traditions in 1609, it was declared the patronal feast of the order.........
it was extended to the entire Latin Church by Benedict XIII. The lessons contain the legend of the scapular; the promise of the Sabbatine privilege was inserted into the lessons by Paul V about 1614. The Greeks of southern Italy and the Catholic Chaldeans have adopted this feast of the "Vestment of the Blessed Virgin Mary". The object of the feast is the special predilection of Mary for those who profess themselves her servants by wearing her scapular
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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
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3 comments:

Nick said...

I wonder how scapulars are made?

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!

Nick said...

For those consecrating themselves to Jesus through Mary today, I recommend reading two things:

Pope Benedict XVI on Sanctification and Consecration

Message of Our Lady of America

Elizabeth said...

Actually, history records that the July 16th date for the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel originally had nothing to do with the tradition of the Scapular vision. The Feast itself was first celebrated in England in the late 14th c, probably as a thanksgiving to Our Lady for the vindication of the Order's right to title themselves "Brothers of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel" which had been disputed by others. The original July 17th date of this feast conflicted on the European mainland with the regionally important feast of St Alexis, leading it to be moved to the previous day. So when and how did July 16 get associated with the Scapular legend? All evidence points to the year 1642, when a Jesuit scholar at the University of Paris challenged whether St Simon Stock's vision ever happened (Carmelite historians today acknowledge that indeed there are difficulties about the historicity of the vision, however meaningful it may be). A Carmelite named Fr John Cheron vigorously defended the vision and published what he asserted was a letter written by St Simon Stock's secretary "Peter Swanyngton", hidden away unbeknownst to anyone all those years in Jerusalem or somewhere. Historians universally conclude that this "letter" was contemoprary (maybe written by Cheron) and not from the time of St Simon Stock. The letter identifies July 16, 1251 as the date of St Simon's vision (a year which doesn't really work with the chronology of St Simon Stock). Let me point out again that July 17 was actually the original date of the feast, and that in the beginning it didn't have any associations with the scapular devotion, which doesn't seem to have developed yet. The fabricated "Swanyngton" letter is the original source of many traditional details commonly cited in Brown Scapular literature, including the July 16 1951 date, and the location Cambridge England.

see history of St Simon Stock by a noted O.Carm historian:
http://carmelnet.org/biographies/SimonStock.pdf

more info and more good references:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Mount_Carmel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Scapular

(I am an OCDS novice)