On July 16, the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Mount Carmel is the mountain in the plain of Galilee, upon which the prophet Elijah called down a miracle of fire from God. This fire was a sign to the people of Israel that “The Lord is God” and an order to stop worshipping Baal, a false god.
The Carmelite order was founded by a group of monks in the 13th century. They began to live and pray on the mountain, venerating the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The order was approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226. St. Simon Stock was elected superior of the order shortly after that.
On July 16, 1251, Mary appeared to St. Simon and gave him the brown scapular. She promised to protect anyone who wore the brown habit.
In the 20th century, Pope Pius X decreed that Mary’s blessing would extend to anyone who wore the medal of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
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