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Catholic faith: Devotion to our Lady of Mount Carmel.

July 16 is the liturgical feast or "scapular feast" of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to commemorate the giving of the brown scapular by the Blessed Virgin Mary to the monastic St. Simon Stock, father of the Carmelite Order, in 1251. The day is marked in many Catholic churches by the blessing of brown scapulars during the mass and distributing them to parishioners, who wear them as a sign of faith and consecration to the Virgin Mary. Since the 15th Century, devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel has centered on the brown scapular. A promise associated with it is the Virgin Mary's protection and graces to its devotees.

Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is widespread in the Philippines. Two Carmel churches are in Quezon City - the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New Manila, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Project 6. The Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Lipa City, Batangas, was the site of a mysterious shower of rose petals decades ago.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Virgin Mary as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The Order of Mount Carmel originated with the disciples of the prophets Elias and Eliseus, who lived in caves on Mount Carmel near Nazareth in the Holy Land in the 13th century. The feast was instituted by the Carmelites on July 16, 1376, to celebrate the victory of the order and its obtaining approbation of its name by Pope Honorius III. On July 16, 1251, accounts said that the Virgin Mary appeared and gave the scapular, a small piece of brown cloth, as a "sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace" to St. Simon Stock, the early prior general of the Carmelites, in the Convent of the White Friars in Cambridge. The scapular is now a part of the Carmelite habit.

Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel spread throughout the Catholic world. With several popes approving it in Southern Italy, Spain, Austria, Portugal, and in Papal States, before Pope Benedict XIII placed the feast on the universal calendar of the church in 1726. The liturgical feast was first celebrated in England in the 14th Century. Miracles have been attributed to Our Lady, the first of which was on an ailing man at Winchester, who was made to touch the scapular by Saint Simon Stock and was cured.


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Title Annotation:Faith
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jul 15, 2014
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