Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Feast Day July 16th

Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Carmelites at Stella Maris Monastery

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Stella Maris Monastery in the Holy Land

The Blessed Mother was first given the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel by the first Carmelites who lived in the Holy Land during the 12th and 13th centuries.

A few years ago, I was privileged to visit the Stella Maris Monastery which is located on a high cliff above the city of Haifa on the Mediterranean Coast. The Carmelite nuns at the monastery fed us a wonderful Spaghetti and wine lunch and then gave us a tour. The Stella Maris Monastery – which in Latin means “Our Lady - Star of the Sea”  holds a wonderful treasure… the cave of Saint Elijah! We walked through the dimly lit monastery and viewed beautiful statues and artwork and then descended into a grotto where the cave was located.

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Cave of Saint Elijah, Mount Carmel (Haifa)

Elijah was said to have prayed here and also established a school for prophets. Elisha also studied here. At one time this area was caves, since the monastery was built in the 19th century.

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel by Pietro Novelli


The Devotion of the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Through the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mary has given us the Brown Scapular as a sign of protection, salvation, and aid.

Mary gave the scapular to Saint Simon Stock who was the prior general of the Carmelite religious order in the 13th century. She told him that all who die wearing the scapular would be saved. The Brown Scapular also has the Sabantine Promise attached to it. This privelege or promise says that those who wear the scapular and fulfill two other conditions, will be freed from purgatory on the following Saturday after their death.  Pope John XXII issued the Papal Bull on March 3, 1322 and many other popes have approved and reiterated this promise.

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Pope John Paul II – Wearing Our Lady of Mt Carmel Brown Scapular

Pope John Paul II wore the brown scapular and stated, “Even I, from my youngest days, have worn around my neck the Scapular of Our Lady and I take refuge in trust under the mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus.

I hope the Scapular will be for everyone, especially the faithful who wear it, a help and defense in times of danger, a seal of peace and sign of Mary’s care”.  - General Audience, Castelgandolfo July 16, 2003

Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

“Oh most beautiful flower of Mt. Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. Oh Star of the Sea, help me and show me you are my Mother. Oh Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to succor me in this necessity (make request). There are none that can withstand your power. Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Sweet Mother I place this cause in your hands. Amen.

Since today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, let’s think about the Blessed Mother and her love for her son, Jesus Christ. Let us remember as we wear our Brown Scapulars of Our Lady of Mount Carmel that the Blessed Virgin Mary is a beautiful model of virtue and prayer. She points us to Jesus in every way. She is our spiritual mother and will protect us and lead us to her son, Jesus Christ.

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Crusader Scapulars – Athlete’s Brown Scapular: What Are They?

The Crusader Scapular is also referred to as the Athlete’s Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

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Crusader Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Crusader Scapular is slightly smaller in size than the regular traditional brown scapular. The cross is pictured on both ends whereas other brown scapulars usually have a picture of the Blessed Mother, Jesus, or a Saint. The length of this scapular can vary from short cord to long cord. The Crusader Scapular is a legitimate accepted form of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Brown Scapular. It is made of 100% wool and is worn around the neck. A crucifix and a Saint Benedict medal are sometimes attached, but it is not a requirement. Just like any other brown scapular, you should be enrolled by a Priest to receive the spiritual benefits of this scapular. Enrollment instructions are usually included when you purchase a scapular.

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Mel Gibson wears an Athlete’s or Crusader Scapular

This type of brown scapular is very popular with teens, young people and athletes because of the simple design and smaller size. Mel Gibson was pictured on the set of the Passion of the Christ wearing one. Crusader Scapulars also work very well as a children’s scapulars.

If you would like more information on the Crusader Scapular or Athlete’s Scapular, please visit the Saints Market Catholic Store. We have a great selection of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Brown Scapulars.

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Top Gifts for a Goddaughter

Whether you are looking for a First Communion Gift, Confirmation Gift, or Baptism Gift, our Catholic Shop has a great selection of Goddaughter gifts.
Here are some of our favorites:

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Patron Saint Medals make great Goddaughter Gifts!

1. Patron Saint Pendants: There are many choices of Saints. You can pick a favorite saint or the child’s name saint. If you are celebrating Confirmation, it is tradition that a child picks a Saint for a Confirmation name. Otherwise, it is always nice to get your Goddaughter a Saint Necklace with Our Lady or Saint Therese (the little flower) on the front. The Saints Market has over 7,000 medals and many of them can be engraved with your personal message.

2. Personalized Music Box: A music boxes that say Goddaughter on the front make great Goddaughter gifts! We also carry music boxes for First Communion, Confirmation, and other events that can be personalized with the child’s name and other information. Later, the personalized information can be replaced with a photo from a special event. You godchild will love to play with her music box and listen to the music at bedtime. It will always remind her of you!

3. Rosary: It is nice to give a small child a wooden rosary so that she can become accustomed to this beautiful devotion. Young girls enjoy getting a rose scented St Therese Rosary. As your Goddaughter gets older, you can get her a nicer rosary such as a sterling patron saint rosary. Rosaries make great gifts for a godchild!

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Stories of the Saints Books and other Catholic Books Make Great Goddaughter Gifts!

4. Stories of the Saints Book: Catholic books are always good Goddaughter gift ideas! A Catholic Bible or Stories of the Saints is a must. Help your Godchild to learn the faith with books about Catholic Saints, the Blessed Mother, and Jesus. Coloring books about Lent, the Rosary, and Mary are also available at the Saints Market Catholic Store.

These are just a few ideas for you to think about. Whatever you decide, it is a great idea to pray for your Goddaughter, attend Mass for her and with her if possible, send her cards and notes, and attend her special events whether they are church related or not. You are blessed to be asked to be a Godparent! Make sure that you take your job seriously.

For more ideas on Gifts for a Goddaughter, please visit the Saints Market Catholic Store at: http://www.CatholicGiftStores.com.

[Copyright 2013 Saints Market Catholic Store and Catholic Moms. Please ask permission to use this article].

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Habemus Papum Franciscum – We have Pope Francis!

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We have Pope Francis!

We were all so excited when the white smoke came out of the chimney! We waited as the crowd cheered and the bells rang. The Swiss Guard prepared and soon we saw movement of the curtains in the Papal Apartment.

The next thing we knew people were exclaiming with excitement, Habemus Papum! Habemus Papum! Have you ever wondered exactly what Habemus Papum means? Habemus Papum Franciscum means: We have Pope Francis!

If you are like me you very much admired Pope John Paul II. Our 7th child was born on Divine Mercy Sunday, so we named him John Paul (of course)! He is very proud that he is named after a Saint (soon to be) and frequently tells people. We have lots of cute stories about John Paul. One in particular that I like to tell about took place when we were at Mass and John Paul decided to be a little ornery. He started to take some of his clothes off and run towards the alter. Just as I grabbed him and pulled him back, a lady that I know said, “Good thing he’s named after a Saint”! I laughed, thinking to myself yes it is… in more ways than one.

This week we are offering a FREE Pope Francis Holy Card with any size order at the Saints Market Catholic Store. Just make a note in the checkout section that you would like to have the Free Pope Francis Holy Card and we will stick one in with your order.

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