This is the patronal feast of the Carmelites. The Order of Carmelites takes its name from Mount Carmel in Israel, which was the first place dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and where a chapel was erected in her honour.
16 July is also the feast of the 'Scapular of Mount Carmel' On that day in 1251, pious tradition says, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Simon Stock, General of the Carmelites at Cambridge in England, showed him the scapular and promised supernatural favours and her special protection to his Order and to all persons who would wear her scapular.
To obtain the indulgences and other benefits promised to those who wear the Carmelite scapular, a person must be invested by a priest who has the requisite faculties and must lead a consistent Christian life.
Lord, let the motherly prayer of the glorious Virgin come to our help. Through her support help us reach the true mount which is Christ. Amen.
Another prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the Flos Carmeli (Flower of Carmel) composed by Saint Simon Stock.
O Beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, splendour of heaven, holy and singular, who brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining a pure virgin, assist us in our necessity! O Star of the Sea, help and protect us! Show us that you are our Mother! Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us!
For more information on the Carmelites visit: www.carmelite.org
Watch a short CNS video about Our Lady of Mount Carmel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY4ljH1C57U