Blessed Pope John Paul the Great once stated:
“Mary is the sure path to our meeting with Christ. Devotion to the Mother of the Lord, when it is genuine, is always an impetus to a life guided by the spirit and values of the Gospel.”
From a tender age, Karol Wojtyla nurtured a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. As a youth, the boy who would one day become Pope John Paul II learned about Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and embraced the Carmelite Scapular. The Holy Father stated that he had worn the Brown Scapular since his childhood, and often requested the intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in matters of importance.
When Pope John Paul II was shot on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13, 1981, the Holy Father was wearing his Brown Scapular. As he was rushed into surgery at the Gemelli Hospital, the Holy Father clearly instructed his treating physicians to leave the scapular on during surgery. The surgeons complied with Pope John Paul’s request, and refrained from removing his beloved sacramental.
To the amazement of all, the Holy Father made an astounding recovery from the assassination attempt. It was as if a loving hand had spared his life by gently guiding the bullet, which was a mere millimeters from vital organs and vessels. The Holy Father attributed his miraculous recovery to the intercession Our Lady of Fatima, and on a subsequent visit to Fatima, he placed within her crown, the bullet that had come so close to ending his life. It is interesting to note that in her final apparitions at both Fatima and Lourdes, the Blessed Virgin appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, holding the Brown Scapular within her maternal hands.
2001 was the 750th anniversary of the Carmelite Order. In September of that year, while addressing a large group of Carmelite pilgrims, Pope John Paul stated:
“Dearly beloved, this happy event involves not only those devoted to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, but the whole Church, because the rich Marian heritage of Carmel has become in time, thanks to the spread of devotion connected with the Scapular, a treasure for the entire people of God. Draw constantly from this wonderful spiritual patrimony in order to become credible witnesses to Christ and His Gospel in Daily Life (quoted from Scapular Prayer Book, ed. Bart Tesoriero, 2007, p. 38).”
In appreciation for this “treasure for the entire people of God,” please join me in showing our affection for the Mother of God, and requesting her unparalleled intercession, by praying the eighth day of the Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
You give us hope, O Mother of Mercy, that through your Scapular promise we might quickly pass through the fires of purgatory to the Kingdom of your Son. Be our comfort and our hope.
Grant that our hope may not be in vain but that, ever faithful to your Son and to you, we may speedily enjoy after death the blessed company of Jesus and the saints.
(pause and mention petitions)
Say: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.
May Our Lady of Mount Carmel wrap her Mantle around your shoulders and hold you close to the Sacred Heart of her Divine Infant Son, Jesus.
Ad Jesum per Mariam,