Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
While Our Blessed Mother was performing the great Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Portugal, on October 13, 1917, she also appeared in the sky as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Why?.
The wearing of the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a sign of the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which Our Lady requested.
In addition, it is also a sign of protection from evil and from danger and from harm. It is recommended that each morning, upon arising, you take hold of the Brown Scapular which you always wear, reverently kiss it, and ask Our Lady of Mount Carmel to continue to keep her mantle of protection around you and around all of your loved ones, protecting all of you from all harm, all dangers and all evil.
For those of you who may be wondering what a scapular is, a scapular is a sacramental which is worn as a badge of a religious confraternity. It consists of 2 pieces of cloth, one of which is worn on the chest and the other on the back, with bands or strings passing over the shoulders. A scapular gives its wearer a share in the merits and spiritual benefits of the association of which it is the badge.
In certain Religious Orders, an outer garment, called a scapular, is worn. It consists of a long piece of cloth hanging from the shoulders in the front and back, almost to the ground.
During the Middle Ages, lay persons were often permitted to become "oblates" of these Orders, that is, they assisted frequently at the monastic services and had a share in the merits of the Religious Order. They were allowed to wear the scapular, just as did the regulars or actual members of the Religious Order.
As time went by, the full, habit-sized, scapulars began to be made smaller which enabled the wearers to place it under their clothes.
Certain associations of the laity are known as Third Orders and the members wear a scapular which is about 6" x 3". Other societies wear a smaller scapular of about 2 1/4" x 2".
These are the rules concerning scapulars: the investing must be done by an authorized Priest who has first blessed the scapular; the scapular may be given by a Catholic Priest in any suitable place, to any Catholic, even to an infant; it must be worn over the shoulders; if replaced, no blessing is required; if it is laid aside for a considerable time, the benefits are forfeited during that time. The Roman Catholic Church has approved of 18 different kinds of scapulars, including the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-also called the Brown Scapular.
Very briefly, for those of you who may not have had an opportunity to learn about the scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, the Brown Scapular, history takes us back many years.
Saint Simon Stock entered the Carmelite Order in Kent, England, when he was 40 years old. He was sent to Mt. Carmel in the Holy Land where he led a life of prayer and penance until he and most of his brother Religious were forced to leave by the victorious infidels. The group sailed for England. At a General Chapter which was held in Aylesford, England, in 1245 A.D., St. Simon was unanimously elected Prior General of the Carmelite Order.
St. Simon had great devotion to Our Blessed Mother. This may help to explain why the Carmelite Order began to prosper under his guidance despite considerable opposition.
In response to his appeal to Our Blessed Mother for help for his oppressed Order, on July 16, 1251 A.D. (he was 86 years old at the time), Mary appeared to him holding a Brown Scapular in her hand. Mary said to him:
A second great reward attached to the Brown Scapular is called the "Sabbatine" which enables Scapular wearers, by the fulfillment of 3 conditions, to assure their liberation from Purgatory by the first Saturday after their death.
The 3 conditions attached to the Sabbatine Privilege are:
1) the faithful wearing of the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel daily;Because of so many problems which beset faithful Catholics today, the laity may ask any Priest or Prelate of the CATHOLIC Church to commute this requirement.
2) the observance of Chastity according to one's state in life;
3) the recitation of the Office of Our Lady, sometimes called the Little Office.
Today, the laity can join the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Although the investing of this scapular was originally restricted to the Carmelite Order, now any Priest who has ordinary faculties in a diocese can invest a person in it. The size of the scapular is about 2" x 2", sometimes a little less. The formula for investiture now in use was prescribed by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 and is found in the Roman Ritual.
Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
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