Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Patroness of the Carmelite Order. She is also known as the Flos Carmeli (the Flower of Carmel). Her followers seek to imitate her openness to say “yes” and her closeness to her Son, Jesus Christ. She is usually pictured in sacred images wearing the brown habit of the Carmelite order and wearing a golden crown. She holds a Brown Scapular in one hand and the Child Jesus in the other. The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on July 16th each year (the day of St. Simon Stock’s apparition and receipt of the Brown Scapular).
Who are the Carmelites?
The Carmelite Order is one of the officially recognized religious communities of the Catholic Church. Their “official” beginning is recognized as the year 1247 when Pope Innocent IV approved the Rule of St. Albert (The Carmelite Rule) which was drafted as a set of rules and living guidelines for a community of hermits living on Mount Carmel in Palestine. However, the Order traces its roots back to the Prophet Elijah who on Mount Carmel won a challenge against the priests of Baal to identify the true God (as told in the First Book of Kings 18:20-40). Also on Mount Carmel, the Prophet Elijah spent time in prayer to a spiritual precursor to the Blessed Virgin Mary along with other seekers of the coming of a Messiah. Mount Carmel has traditionally been one of the most verdant areas of Palestine full of beauty and peace and was home to the “spring of Elijah” in one of the Mount’s valleys where the early hermits gathered. The Order is also widely recognized by the Brown Scapular which tradition says was given to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251 by the Blessed Virgin Mary in an apparition and who indicated that it would provide protection for its wearers. The Brown Scapular is a brown garment with hole for one’s head worn over the shoulders by the religious of the Carmelite community. A smaller “pendant version” of the Brown Scapular is for use by lay people.
The Carmelite Family consists of priests, friars, nuns, sisters and lay people. The Order consists of two strands: “The Carmelites” or “Ancient Observance” (O.Carm) and “The Discalced Carmelites” or “Teresians” (O.C.D.). It is estimated that there are nearly 60,000 active members of the Carmelite Family. There are many well-known Carmelite saints including these Doctors of the Church: St. Therese of Lisieux, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila) and St. Cyril of Constantinople.
Prayers to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
A Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Our Lady of Mount Carmel
O most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel,
Splendor of Heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
Immaculate Virgin, assist me this my necessity.
O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
Queen of Heaven and Earth,
I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart,
to succour me in this necessity; there are none that can withstand your power.
O, show me herein you are my Mother, O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (3 times)
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands. (3 times)
Flos Carmeli Prayer
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 me in this necessity.
O Star of the sea, help and protect me!
Show me that Thou art my Mother.
O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to Thee!
Mother and Beauty of Carmel, Pray for us!
Virgin, Flower of Carmel, Pray for us!
Patroness of all who wear the Scapular, Pray for us!
Hope of all who die wearing the Scapular, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Friend of the Sacred Heart, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Chaste Spouse of Mary, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Our Patron, Pray for us!
O sweet Heart of Mary, Be our salvation!
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Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles – Flos Carmeli Prayer –
Catholic Online – Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel – https://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=2289