Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena, Day Nine

Queen of Carmel, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

The Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is drawing to a close. This evening we will celebrate the Vigil of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and tomorrow we will rejoice in the glorious feast itself.

For the past several years, my family has joined a candle-lit procession to the Lourdes Grotto at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill. I love watching the Carmelite Friars process from the monastery to the grotto, their voices blending in chorus to the ancient hymn Flos Carmeli as they honor Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I have sweet memories of rosaries prayed, and scapulars distributed in that candle-lit grotto as the sunset bathed Holy Hill with splendor. My kids and I look forward to this Vigil and the subsequent Feast Day Mass each and every year.

Vigil of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (2011) © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

As the Vigil happens to fall on a Sunday this year, the procession will be a little different, taking place after the 12:30 Mass instead of at dusk. We are eagerly anticipating this beautiful event. (I’ll post photos in the afternoon). Our Lady is so very gracious! I know that the filial praise we offer to her will be magnified in her Immaculate Heart and reflected toward her Divine Son, Jesus Christ. Knowing too that Our Beloved Mother is never out-done in gratitude, I am confident that Our Lady will abundantly bless all those who honor her by seeking Mary’s maternal help to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ, her Divine Son.

As we anticipate the joy of today’s vigil and the grace of tomorrow’s feast, please join me in praying the ninth day of the Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Ninth Day
O Most Holy Mother of Mount Carmel, when asked by a saint to grant privileges to the family of Carmel, you gave assurance of your Motherly love and help to those faithful to you and to your Son.
Behold us, your children.

We glory in wearing your holy habit, which makes us members of your family of Carmel, through which we shall have your powerful protection in life, at death and even after death!
Look down with love, O Gate of Heaven, on all those now in their last agony!
Look down graciously, O Virgin, Flower of Carmel, on all those in need of help!
Look down mercifully, O Mother of our Savior, on all those who do not know that they are numbered among your children.
Look down tenderly, O Queen of All Saints, on the poor souls!
(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.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Treasure of Grace: Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Day 8

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.”

Photo of Bl.Pope John Paul II Statue © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 EA photographer Blessed Pope John Paul the Great, Please Pray for Us!

 

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.

“I have worn on my heart for a long time, the Brown Scapular,” Blessed Pope John Paul II © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 EA photo

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.

Eighth Day
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.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

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Garment of Grace: Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Day 7

Garment of Grace © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Throughout the centuries many of the successors of St. Peter have worn the Brown Scapular and highly recommended commending one’s self to the Blessed Virgin’s maternal care through this powerful sacramental. In the late 19thcentury, Pope Leo XIII stated:

“The nobility of the origin of the Carmelite Scapular, its extraordinary spread among Christian peoples for many centuries, the spiritualizing effects produced by it and the outstanding miracles worked in virtue of it, render the Scapular of Mount Carmel commendable to a wondrous degree (quoted from Scapular Prayer Book, ed. Bart Tesoriero, 2007, p. 32).”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

For centuries, people have been turning to Our Lady, through a tradition of Carmelite Spirituality and prayer, invoking her powerful intercession and providential care. One who wears the Brown Scapular with devotion shares in the spiritual benefits imparted to faithful Carmelites; a gift from our Lord bestowed through His Beloved Mother. On July 16, 1251, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, bearing the gift of the Carmelite Scapular, and promised:

 

 

 

 

“Receive beloved son, this scapular of thy order, as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all the Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment shall not suffer everlasting fire. It is a sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant (quoted from Scapular Prayer Book, ed. Bart Tesoriero, 2007, p. 12).”

The Brown Scapular is a powerful sacramental; richly blessed and highly indulgenced. It is NOT a magical talisman. It is a sign, a visible symbol of one’s commitment to Christ through Mary. The Brown Scapular is an outward manifestation of a covenant relationship with Almighty God, a pledge of obedience to His Holy Will. One who wears the Brown Scapular promises fidelity to Christ, and chastity in accord with their state of life (either married or single).

The ability to wear the “Garment of Grace” and partake in the promise of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to St. Simon Stock, and all Carmelites, is an immense privilege. As with any privilege, there is a corollary responsibility. Were one to merely wear the Scapular without practicing the faith that goes along with it, it would be equivalent of reducing this beautiful sacramental to the status of a “good-luck” charm. The Brown Scapular is most certainly NOT a good luck charm. Thus, to receive the graces associated with it, one needs not only to wear the scapular continuously, but also to live their faith, practice chastity consistent with their state, and pray.

Ideally, one should be enrolled in the scapular by a priest or deacon. A devotion to Carmelite Spirituality is also encouraged, including:

(1) Regular participation in Holy Mass and the Eucharist

(2) Regular reading and meditation on Sacred Scripture

(3) Regular prayer of at least some part of the Liturgy of the Hours

(4) Devotion to and imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(5) A commitment to live the virtues of faith, hope, charity, and chastity in accordance with God’s Holy Will and one’s vocation in life (married, single, religious, etc.)

Mother of Mercy © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Among the long line of devoted clients of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is Blessed Pope John Paul the Great, who on the occasion of the 750 anniversary year of the Carmelite Scapular wrote:

“The Scapular is essentially a habit which evokes the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary in this life and in the passage to the fullness of eternal glory. The Scapular also reminds us that the devotion to her must become a ‘uniform,’ that is, a Christian life-style, woven of prayer and interior life (quoted from Scapular Prayer Book, ed. Bart Tesoriero, 2007, p. 38).”

Our Brown Scapular is a tremendous treasure, the gift of a “Garment of Grace” from Our Lady. With gratitude, let us pray together the novena prayer for the seventh day in preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16.

Seventh Day
O Mary, Help of Christians, you assured us that wearing your Scapular worthily would keep us safe from harm. Protect us in both body and soul with your continual aid. May all that we do be pleasing to your Son and to you.
(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.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Defend Us Dear Mother: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena, Day 6

 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel PRay for Us!

 

Around 1916, while addressing a group of seminarians, Pope Benedict XV stated: “Let all of you have a common language and a common armor: the language, the sentences of the Gospel; the common armor, the Scapular of the Virgin of Carmel, which you all ought to wear and which enjoys the singular privilege of protection even after death.”

Over the past week, we’ve contemplated the beauty of the gift of the Brown Scapular as we prepare for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16. Throughout these few days we reviewed the history of the Brown Scapular, considered the Blessed Mother’s promise of protection and discussed the unfathomable grace that accompanies Our Lady’s “Garment of Grace.” We have considered the manner in which Our Lady perpetually directs us toward her Divine Son, Jesus Christ; Who is our ultimate source of joy.

Devotion to Our Lady Always Directs Us to Jesus. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

One of the most salient aspects of the devotion to the Brown Scapular is the protection against evil imparted to those who faithfully express their love of Christ by entrusting themselves to His beloved Mother through this powerful sacramental. Heaven has offered a myriad of signs and miracles attesting to the veracity of Our Lady’s promise and the validity of the hopes of those who entrust themselves to Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s providential care.

Among the many miraculous stories regarding the Brown Scapular, there are two that seem relevant tonight. First, two great founders of religious orders, Saint John Bosco of the Salesians and St. Alphonsus Liguori of the Redemptorists each nurtured a deep devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and faithfully wore the Brown Scapular. Both St. John Bosco and St. Alphonsus Liguori were buried wearing their priestly vestments and the Brown Scapular. Many years later when their bodies were exhumed and their graves opened, the vestments they were wearing at the time of burial and their bodies had completely turned to dust. However, for each man, the Brown Scapular they had been wearing was discovered completely intact. Today, St. Alphonsus Liguori’s scapular is on exhibit in his monastery in Rome. As Pope Benedict XV admonished his seminarians: the Brown Scapular carries with it grace that is evident even after death.

St. John of the Cross Mosaic from the Basilica at Holy Hill. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Venerable Francis de Yepes was the brother of the great Carmelite reformer St. John of the Cross. Venerable Francis was himself a Carmelite tertiary, and deeply dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and her Brown Scapular. He worked diligently to spread devotion to this vital channel of grace. One day as he was praying for the conversion of souls, Venerable Francis was assailed by angry, howling demons, who bemoaned the success of the scapular and ordered him to remove it. They said: “Take off that habit which snatches so many souls from us. All those clothed in it die piously and escape us.” However, Venerable Francis ignored them and continued his prayers.

Later, as he was performing an act of penance, his scapular slipped off. The demons again ordered him to keep the scapular off. He immediately put it back around his neck. As Francis replaced the Brown Scapular around his neck, the demons howled that three things particularly torment them: (1) the Holy Name of Jesus, (2) the blessed name of Mary, and lastly (3) the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Our Lord has bestowed tremendous grace upon those who show their devotion to Him, and honor His beloved Mother, through the Brown Scapular of Carmel. Countless documented miracles have been associated with devotion to the Scapular: houses spared fire, lives saved, incredible conversions, and abiding faith restored, just to name a few.

Our Brown Scapular is a tremendous treasure, the gift of a “Garment of Grace” from Our Lady. With gratitude, let us pray together the novena prayer for the sixth day in preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16.

Sixth Day
With loving provident care, O Mother Most Amiable, you covered us with your Scapular as a shield of defense against the Evil One.
Through your assistance, may we bravely struggle against the powers of evil, always open to your Son Jesus Christ.
(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.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Zealous for the Lord God of Hosts: Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Day 5

With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

The motto of the Carmelite Order is: “Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum.” This powerful expression is a direct quote of the words of Elijah from the First Book of Kings, 19:10: “With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts.” These words perfectly express the life of the Prophet Elijah, yet for those of us who wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, this motto also perfectly conveys the mission to which we are each called.

From the gift of our Baptism, we are called to be bear witness to reality of the Omnipotent Triune God. Through our sacramental life we are given the grace to know, love and serve Our Lord in this life so that we can spend Eternity with Him in Paradise.

Our Lord loves us with an incompressible, eternal love. He desires our ultimate happiness, which can only reach fruition with lives utterly centered in Him. God both places a deep yearning within our hearts, and also gives us the means to satisfy that longing. It is paradoxical that when we serve God with zeal, we become zealous for His the reality of His Kingdom. Our zealousness grows as His unfathomable love fills our being. Love begets Love, and zeal for the Kingdom of God finds its ultimate expression in charity. He loves us, we respond to that love, and become zealous for God, and in so doing advance His kingdom by ministering to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

The premier exemplar of the love of Christ in action is the Blessed Virgin. She is the model of the ultimate expression of faithful service to plan of God. When we call on Our Lady to assist us in reaching our goal to love God with our whole heart, mind and soul, and love our neighbor as our selves, she will surely respond with all the requisite grace essential for the task.

Please join me praying to the fifth day of the novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in preparation for her great feast on July 16.

Fifth Day
O Mother of Fair Love, through your goodness, as your children, we are called to live in the spirit of Carmel. Help us to live in charity with one another, prayerful as Elijah of old, and mindful of our call to minister to God’s people.
(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.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J

A Slice of Paradise: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena, Day 4

Today was a slice of Paradise. Throughout the stillness of the night I had listened to the serene lapping of rippling water on Lake Michigan. My patio door was open, and the Moon shone brightly over Whitefish Bay, as the stars reflected on the gently moving water.

refreshing Waters of Lake Michigan © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

For most of our week of vacation, the water was like glass. In the nine years we’ve been traveling to this particular spot, the water has never been this smooth, nor the lake so warm and inviting. Our week here has been glorious; a true gift from God. The kids waded out into the bay, and I splashed with them in the gentle flow of the usually tempestuous Lake. We built castles in the balmy sand, and shared the joy of relaxing amid one of the most picturesque vistas I know. This morning, a pink and orange hue melted into a brilliant golden orb reflecting on the sparkling lake. I flopped out of bed, grasped my rosary and Divine Office, and began my day on the patio. The morning sun warmed my physical being, as I thanked Our Lord for the magnificent week He had given me and mine.

The rhythm of the day rapidly changed as we busied ourselves with packing the van, and hitting the road. Yet even so, this joy and peace of this morning’s prayer remained with me. We had tried to find a morning Mass, but the only Monday Mass in our area was at 5:15 p.m., and we needed to hit the road by 11 a.m. I hate missing daily Mass, but today I had no choice. I stopped to purchase a bouquet of roses to leave at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help as is our tradition, and who should I meet in the parking lot of the grocery store, but the Franciscan Friar who is pastor of the nearby church. We chatted and he blessed our van, after a few jokes about our mode of travel. Eight kids sandwiched amid suitcases and beach toys in a large van with two huge luggage turtles strapped on top, sporting a variety of Catholic and Pro-Life bumper stickers, is enough to draw chuckles from the occasional passersby. I’ve got to admit we definitely do not add to the ambience of the local vista.

Statue of Our Lady in the Crypt of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Later we stopped to pray at two of my favorite spiritual fountains of grace. First we visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, in Champion Wisconsin. This is the only approved Marian apparition site in the United States. I love visiting the simple little shrine, where in 1859, Our Blessed Mother demonstrated the depth of her maternal love, by visiting a humble immigrant woman, Sr. Adele Brise, and charged her with the mission to catechize the children of this then wild frontier. Countless blessings and miracles have flowed from this site, the most memorable of which occurred the night of the Peshtigo Fire, when with Our Lady’s intervention all those who sought shelter on the five acre chapel site were spared the ravages of the most devastating fire in U.S. history. Knowing Our Lady still cares for her children, and attentively listens to their prayers, my family and I adored Our Lord, in His Mother’s home – the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Help, and again requested her intercession for our temporal and spiritual needs.

From there we traveled a short distance to visit the Carmelite Monastery in Denmark, Wisconsin. This peaceful convent is home to a community of cloistered Discalced Carmelite Sisters. My family loves visiting this beautiful chapel for a few moments of prayerful solitude.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Today, as we knelt in prayer before Our Lord’s Tabernacle, my heart was full of gratitude and joy. As I turned to walk to the door, I stopped to pray a “Hail Mary” before the ornate statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Above this exquisite statue are three stained glass windows depicting: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Therese of the Holy Face of Jesus. Our Lady is in there in the midst of these great Carmelite saints. She stands in the alcove, half way between them and the Tabernacle of Our Lord. It occurred to me that in a real way she stands likewise for each of us- she is there with each of us near the door, beckoning us to come closer to her Divine Son Jesus. Like the great Carmelite saints whose images are rendered here in stained glass, with Our Lady’s help, one day we too may join the celestial court in eternal rejoicing. Then our moment of Paradise will last for all eternity.

As we focus on the hope of Eternal joy, please pray the fourth day of the novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel with me.


Fourth Day
When you gave us, Gracious Lady, the Scapular as our Habit, you called us to be not only servants, but also your own children.
We ask you to gain for us from your Son the grace to live as your children in joy, peace and love. (pause and mention petitions)
Say: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

I Know Mine: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena, Day 3

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

For many years my children and I would tie-dye brightly colored T-shirts. As a homeschooling family this exercise served many purposes. For the slightly older children, we would explore the science behind the process of tinting fabric. The children loved the creativity unleashed in this entertaining imaginative activity. Each year we’d tie and dye a drawer full of shirts. This annual event usually occurred on Father’s Day. I remember one year, the kids performed in a violin concert the weekend we were dying T-shirts. That’s right, the morning after our fun-filled artistic adventure, my lovely brood stood on stage, in formal clothes, with pink, purple, and blue blotches from their fingernails to their elbows. Embarrassment is a great teacher: the subsequent year we were more scrupulous about wearing gloves. . . .

While it has been a few years since we’ve engaged in the massive tie-dye event, the T-shirts are still treasures, and worn frequently. When the kids were younger it was our family uniform on public field-trips. Whether we were headed to the zoo, public museum, or state fair, the kids and I would sport our tie-dyed shirts. Yes, we were occasionally the object of amusement. I recall touring the Cana Island Lighthouse in Door County, Wisconsin one summer, and having a fellow tourist loudly smirk to his son, “Look honey, that’s what a bunch of liberal hippie-kids looks like.” To which I shot back, “Actually, Sir, this is what conservative Catholic homeschoolers who want to keep track of their (then) 6 kids look like.” (o.k., so Sarah Palin isn’t the only Pit-Bull with lipstick.. . .)

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

For me, dressing in brightly colored togs was not a political statement or an expression of artistic pride, but rather a practical matter of survival. I need to keep track of my 8 children, and when they were dressed in these brightly colored garments, with a mere glance I could recognize them and they could recognize me. Just as our Lord says: “I know my sheep and My sheep know Me (John 10:14).” These tie-dyed shirts were a garment that allowed me to make sure all my children were safe, and protected; because no matter how much fun we were having on an outing, as a good mother I wanted to be sure that all mine made it safely home. My kids are growing up, yet still they will often all sport tie-dyed shirts of their own free will, partly out of nostalgia, rejoicing in the fondness of memories shared.

Our Lady’s Garment of Grace © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

I like to think the Brown Scapular is something like our tie-dyed T-shirts. When we are properly enrolled, and wearing the garment of grace given to St. Simon Stock by Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we are robed in Mary’s own special garment. With this highly blessed sacramental, Our Lady is able to impart countless graces. Through it, we identify ourselves as belonging to Jesus through Mary. Like my tie-dyed T-shirts, our Brown Scapulars set us apart. Our Brown Scapular is an outward sign that we are unified under a Maternal Protectoress; one whose only desire is to see us safely home.

With gratitude to Our Lady of Mount Camel for providing such an exquisite garment of grace, please join me in praying the third day of our novena in preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16.

Third Day
O Queen of Heaven, you gave us the Scapular as an outward sign by which we might be known as your faithful children. May we always wear it with honor by avoiding sin and imitating your virtues. Help us to be faithful to this desire of ours.
(pause and mention petitions) s)
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.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Garment of Grace: Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Novena Day 2

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

 

The veneration of Our Lady of Mount Camel dates back before the twelfth century. This enduring image of the brown-clad Virgin Queen, holding Her Divine Infant Son, Whose arms are outstretched in blessing while bearing the gift of the Brown Scapular, is a familiar one for most Catholics.

 

 

 

 

 

This image uniquely demonstrates the maternal love of Our Lady. As a mother, I feed, clothe, educate and care for my children. Our Blessed Mother does exactly the same thing, but on a spiritual plane. She draws us close to Her Divine Son that we might have the Bread of Life, nourishing us on His Word. She knows well that our eternal happiness is best achieved when we are fed with His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. To this end, our loving Mother endeavors to educate us. She slowly turns our hearts and minds from the vanities of this transient world to the splendor of Eternal Life in Christ. As Our Lady of Mount Carmel, she offers us a “Garment of Grace”- and clothes us in her own glorious raiment. Just as a mother clothes her dear children in appropriate apparel; likewise, our Blessed Mother clothes us with the Brown Scapular. A true mother is concerned with the happiness of her progeny. Our Blessed Mother perpetually demonstrates the depth of her desire for our eternal joy in Jesus Christ. Through her, we ultimately find Him, and in so doing achieve the deepest longing of our hearts.

Please join me in praying the second day of the novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in preparation for her feast on July 16.

Second Day
Most Holy Mary, Our Mother, in your great love for us you gave us the Holy Scapular of Mount Carmel, having heard the prayers of your chosen son Saint Simon Stock. Help us now to wear it faithfully and with devotion. May it be a sign to us of our desire to grow in holiness.
(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.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Please Pray for Us!

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is rapidly approaching. This feast commemorates the vision granted by Our Lady to St. Simon Stock on the evening of July 15, 1251. St. Simon Stock was the Prior General of the Carmelite Order at Ayelsford in Kent, England. On that momentous night, Our Lady visited St. Simon in a vision, and promised: “This shall be to thee and all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire.”Our Lady then gave St. Simon the long brown scapular that is the garment of their order. Carmelites have worn it and graciously shared it ever since. As a result of Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s gift and the diligent work of the Carmelites, miracles and grace abound.

This fruitful practice is highly regarded by a myriad of saints. For example, the magnificent Jesuit preacher, Saint Claude de la Colombiere, once claimed that the premiere devotion to Our Lady was that of the Brown Scapular. He insisted: “No devotion has been confirmed by more numerous authentic miracles than the Brown Scapular.” Pope John Paul the Great is also among the numerous saints who found grace in reverencing the Brown Scapular and Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Thus, of all the avenues through which we venerate the Blessed Virgin, it is justifiable that my favorite is the devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Over the years I have sought our Lady’s aide perpetually. I call upon her maternal blessing for everything from daily mundane concerns to matters of life and death urgency. Each and every time I invoke our dear Blessed Mother, I am assured of her intercession. I truly feel her maternal blessing upon me and mine, as I grow in confidence and grace.

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel has never failed me- whether my necessity is trivial or substantial, I always receive the comfort of a response to my petition. It is not always the answer I seek, but without fail it unmistakably bears hallmark of her intercession. Even when my petition is answered in a manner that differs from my aspired end, there is a sense of peace that accompanies its resolution.

 

 

Currently, I am requesting her intervention in a confidential and substantial matter. I am confident that the very same “Our Lady of Mount Camel” who heard the prayers of St. Therese, St. Teresa of Avila, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St. Alphonse Ligouri, Saint Claude de la Colombiere, Blessed Pope John Paul the Great and countless other saints and holy pilgrims on earth, will present my poor petition before the Throne of Her Divine Son, Jesus. With certainty, I know that Our Lady of Mount Carmel will embrace my petition and yours, and through her maternal aide, God’s Holy Will shall be accomplished in time and eternity for each of us. Assured of the Blessed Virgin’s compassionate, maternal intercession, I know that Our Lady of Mount Carmel will secure for each of us the graces of which we each stand in the most need, and thus obtain the best possible response to the hopes we cherish in our hearts.

Please consider joining me in praying together this powerful novena throughout these nine days in preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I assure you that I shall pray for your intentions as well as mine during these significant days in preparation of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

First Day
O Beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, splendor 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!
(pause and mention petitions)
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.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.