Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Balluta church, Malta
According to a pious tradition, the Blessed Virgin appeared to St Simon Stock at Cambridge, England on Sunday June 16, 1251. In answer to his appeal for help for his oppressed order, she appeared to him with a scapular in her hand and said to him:”Take, beloved son, this scapular of your order as a special sign of grace for all Carmelites; whoever dies with this scapular, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is a sign of salvation, a safeguard in danger, a pledge of peace.”
The Carmelites are a religious order founded on Mount Carmel in the 13th century, named thus in reference to the mountain range found in the Holy Land. The founder was a certain Berthold, who was either a pilgrim or a crusader. The order was founded at the site that it claimed had once been the location of Elijah’s cave, 1700 feet above sea level.
Carmelites Church, Valletta, Malta
By 2001, there were 2,100 religious monks in 25 provinces in the Carmelite order, besides 700 enclosed nuns in 70 monasteries. In addition, the Third Order of lay Carmelites count 28,000 members throughout the world. Besides St Simon Stock, there are other Carmelite saints such as St Therese of the Child Jesus, St John of the Cross, St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St Theresa of Avila and even Sister Lucia of Fatima. The statues appearing with this entry are from Malta, where devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is widespread, especially in parishes dedicated to her, Valletta, Balluta, Gzira, Fleur-de-Lys and Zurrieq.

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