Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

The Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock on Juyly 16, 1251. At that time she promised special graces and blessings to those who would wear the scapular. This devotion "has brought down a copious stream of spiritual and temporal graces upon the earth" (Pius XII, Address, 6 August 1950).... Our Lady promised the grace to repent during the final moments of life to those who live and die wearing the scapular, or the blessed medal with the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virigin  of Carmel that can stand in its stead. Among the other graces and indulgences, the so-called sabbatine privilege consists in our release from Purgatory on the Saturday following our death. Her pledge to St. Simon Stock: Throughout life I protect; at the hour of death I lend assistance; and after death I save.

Effect of the Carmelite Spirit on:

1) St. Josemaria Escriva:

From "The Founder of Opus Dei" - Vazquez de Prada, Vol. 1, 515.

The origin of St. Josemaria's vocation to the priesthood: "In 1964, speaking to me (Alvaro del Portillo) about his vocaton to the priesthood, Monsignor Escriva said to me, but more as a question addressed to himself, 'What was the origin of my priestly vocation? Something apprently trivial: prints left inthe snow by the bare feet of a Carmelite.' He then explained to me how, thinking about the sacrifice made by that religious for theh love of God, he had asked hiimself what he himself was doing for our Lord. He had thought that perhaps God was calling him right then and there, on the street, and that if this was the case, then because of his love for the Eucharist, he would be called Brother Amador de Jesus Sacramentado.'

"The founder told us that it made a profound impression on him to see in the snow the footprints of a Discalced Carmelite, that it made him think about how little he himself was doing for the Lord, and that he realized then and there that our Lord wanted something specific from him" (Encarnacion Ortega...).

"The Father, as he himself confessed to me, began to experience desires for a more perfect and committed Christian life when, during the winter of 1917-1918, he contemplated tracks left in the snow by the bare feet of a Carmelite religious... He told me he had felt the call to the priesthood right after seein gthose footprints in the snow" (Jose Luis Muzquiz...)".  

2) St. John Paul II: "Visiting the lower Carmelite seminary as an auxialiary Bishop, right after his consecrat ion, he said:L 'I am glad that I may share with you my devotion to the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Scapular. I always wear the scapular I received from the hands of Fr. Sylvester on the day of my First Holy Communion and, although I lived in theshadow of the parish church, your church 'na Gorce' has always been very dear to me. Among the many services which enchanted my soul as a child, I attended most eagerly the novena preceding the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This was during summer vacation in the month of  July. In those days one did not go away for vacation, like now. I spent the holidays in  Wadowice, thus I never missed the afternoon services during the novena until the time of my departure from Wadowice. Sometimes it was difficult to leave friends, leave the refreshing waves of the beloved Skawa (river), but the mellifluous sound of the Carmelite bells was so strong, so penetrating into the depths of the soul, that I went. Yes, indeed, I lived next to the parish church, but I grew up in the Church of St. Joseph" (Kalendarium 1958, p. 177).

   Plus: all of John Paul II's references to Jan Tyranowski who revealed to Wojtyla the new universe of the supernatural order by introducing him to the works of St. John of the Cross, and by the sanctity of his own persona. See "Be Not Afraid" St. Martin's Press (1981) 18-19. Also, in the Kalendarium, pp. 66-70, the article written by Wojtyla on Jan and the likeness to Elijah and Mt. Carmel.


Saint Claude de la Colombiere, the renowned Jesuit and spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary, gives a point that is enlightening. He said,

“Because all the forms of our love for the Blessed Virgin and all its various modes of expression cannot be equally pleasing to Her, and therefore do not assist us in the same degree to reach Heaven, I say, without a moment’s hesitation, that the BROWN SCAPULAR IS THE MOST FAVORED OF ALL!” He also adds, “No devotion has been confirmed by more numerous authentic miracles than the Brown Scapular.”

True Stories: Our Blessed Lady keeps Her Promise
A priest relates how one day in a town near Chicago he was called to the bedside of a man who had been away form the Sacrament for many years. “The man did not want to see me: he would not talk. Then I asked him to look at the little Scapular I was holding. ‘Will you wear this if I put this on you?’ I ask nothing more. He agreed to wear it and within the hour he wanted to go
to confession and make his peace with God. This did not surprise me, because for 700 years Our Lady has been working in this way through Her Scapular.”

On the very day Our Lady gave the Scapular to St. Simon, he was hurriedly called by Lord Peter of Linton: “Come quickly, Father, my brother is dying in despair!” St. Simon left at once for the bedside of the dying man. Upon arrival he placed his large Scapular over the dying man, asking Our Blessed Mother to keep Her promise. Immediately the man repented, and died in the grace and friendship of God. That night the dead man appeared to his brother and said, “I
have been saved through the most powerful Queen and the Habit of that man as a shield.”

St. Alphonsus tell us: “Modern heretics make a mockery of wearing the Scapular, they decry it as so much trifling nonsense.” Yet many of the popes have approved and recommended it. It is remarkable that only 25 years after the Scapular vision, Blessed Pope Gregory X was buried wearing the Scapular, when his tomb was opened 600 years after his death, his Scapular was
found intact. It can be seen, perfectly preserved in the Arezzo museum, in Italy.

The great St.Peter Claver was another of God’s heroes who used the Scapular to good advantage. Every month a shipment of 1000 slaves would arrive at Cartegena, Colombia, South America. St. Peter used to insure the salvation of his converts. First, he organized catechists to give them instructions. Then, he saw to it that they were baptized and clothed with the Scapular. Some ecclesiastics’ accused the Saint of indiscreet zeal, but St. Peter was confident that Mary would watch over each of his more than 300,000 converts!

A Home Saved from Fire
In May of 1957, a Carmelite priest in Germany published the unusual story of how the Scapular saved a home from fire. An entire row of homes had caught fire in Westboden, Germany. The pious inhabitants of a 2-family home, seeing the fire, immediately fastened a Scapular to the main door of the house. Sparks flew over it and around it, but the house remained unharmed. Within 5 hours, 22 homes had been reduced to ashes. The one structure, which stood undamaged amidst the destruction, was that which had the Scapular attached to its door. The hundreds of people who came to see the place Our lady had saved are eye-witnesses to the power of the Scapular and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A Train Accident

One of the most extraordinary of all Scapular incidents took place right here in the United States. It happened around the turn of the century in the town of Ashtabula, Ohio, that a man was cut in two by a train; he was wearing the Scapular. Instead of dying instantly, as would be expected he remained alive and conscious for 45 minutes -- just enough time until a priest could arrive to administer the Last Sacraments.
A Priest’s Life is Saved


We should even give the Scapular to non-Catholics for Our Lady will bring conversions to those who will wear it and say one Hail Mary each day, as the following true story will show. An old man was rushed to the St. Simon Stock Hospital in New York City, unconscious and dying. The nurse, seeing the Brown Scapular on the patient, called a priest. As the prayers were being said for the dying man, he became conscious and spoke up: “Father, I am not a
Catholic.” Then why are you wearing the Brown Scapular?” asked the priest. “I promised my friends to wear it,” the patient explained, ” and also to say one Hail Mary a day.” “You are dying” the priest told him. “Do you want to become a Catholic?” “All my life I wanted to be one.” the dying man replied. He was baptized, received the Last Rites, and died in peace.

A Call to Fervor

In October of 1952, an Air Force officer in Texas wrote the following: “Six months ago, shortly after I started wearing the Scapular, I experienced a remarkable change in my life. Almost at once, I started going to mass every day. After a short time, I started receiving Holy Communion daily. I kept Lent with a fervor that I had never experience before. I was introduced to the practice of meditation, and found myself making feeble attempts on the way to perfection. I have been
trying to live with God. I credit Mary’s Scapular.”
Further Miracles

A Jesuit missionary in Guatemala tells an incident of Our Lady’s Scapular protection. In November of 1955 a plane carrying 27 passengers crashed. All died except one young lady. When this girl saw that the plane was going down, she took hold of her Scapular, and called on Mary for help. She suffered burns, her clothing was reduced to ashes, but the flames did not touch her Scapular.

The Scapular that Saved Two Lives
My battalion was a member of the Irene Brigade. We were just about to advance. After we
passed Eindhofen, our trucks and tanks went through Uden. In the evening we encamped on
an old farm near Nijmegen. Behind the house there was an old wooden pump surrounded by
bricks, to wash away the sweat and dust of hours of fighting. You can well imagine that we
made good use of this opportunity. I was one in the group and so I tossed my jacket on the
ground and hung my Scapular on the pump while I washed.

An hour later we received orders to proceed about a mile and a half further and to occupy a
trench there. We were looking forward to being able to get a peaceful night’s sleep in that
trench. I was about to lie down and was unbuttoning my collar when to my horror I realized that
I no longer had my Scapular. It had been a gift from my mother. I had it with me all during the
war and now that we were approaching the lion’s den was I to be deprived of it? To go fetch it
was unthinkable, so I tried not to think about it any more and to go to sleep. I pitched and
tossed from side to side, but I couldn’t get to sleep.

All round me, my buddies were sleeping like logs even though from time to time shells fell
dangerously close. Finally I was overcome by the desire to get my Scapular back and I crept
out among my sleeping companions. It wasn’t so easy to get past the sentry but I managed to
do it and ran back the way we had come. It was pitch dark, but nevertheless I had good luck
and in a short time I was back on the farm and at the pump. My hands glided searchingly all
over the pump but the Scapular was gone. I was just about to strike a match when there was
the sound of a dreadful explosion. What was I to do? Was that the sign of an enemy attack? As
fast as I could I ran back to our trench. Maybe I could do something for my buddies there.

Near the trench I saw the engineers busily removing piles of dirt and barbed wire. At the very
spot where my companions had been sleeping there yawned a gigantic shell-hole. Before the
enemy had vacated this trench the enemy had placed a time bomb in it and it had exploded
during my absence. Nobody survived the explosion. If I had not set out to fetch my Scapular, I
would have been buried under that rubble too.

On the following morning I went to the field kitchen and met a buddy there. He looked at me
with astonishment. “I thought you were in that trench!” “And I thought you were buried there!”
My friend continued, “I was lying in the trench, but before I went to sleep I went looking for you.
But I couldn’t find you. The corporal saw me hunting around and asked me what I wanted.
When I told him what I was doing there he said, “Be sensible! Instead go to that inn nearby and
get me a bottle of water.” And while I was on the errand the explosion occurred.

“Well, I escaped it by a hair’s breadth too, “I replied. “But why on earth were you looking for me
so late at night?” “To give you this,“ he replied, and handed me my Scapular, which he had
taken from the old pump.
A Shield in Time of Battle

Mr. Sisto Mosco of North Providence, Rhode Island, is a veteran of World War II, who survived,
unscathed, the invasion of Normandy, and later, the 7th fleet war with the Japanese fleet, the
taking of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and other bloody battles in the South Pacific. Sisto affirms that
his miraculous escape is another perfect example of the powerful protection of Our Blessed
Mother of Mount Carmel, through Her Brown Scapular.
“I was on the battleship the U.S.S. Nevada as chaplain’s yeoman during WW II in the Pacific. (I
always wore my Scapular because I was brought up close to the Church, and I kept it on me all
through the war.) The ship was loaded with dynamite. A suicide plane hit the deck real close to
where I was positioned. The blast blew open the bolted steel doors of the compartment. I
alone was left uninjured after the explosion. The rest were all dead or seriously mangled. I
was the only one untouched and I attribute it to the wearing of my Scapular.”

Mr. Mosco later received a commendation from the Admiral of the fleet for bravery, but in his
heart he firmly believes that the credit goes to Our Lady, the Virgin most powerful, who works
such wonders through Her Habit of Salvation.

Vatican Approval

In wearing the Scapular at all times we make silent petition for the Blessed Mother’s continual 
assistance. We share in all the prayers and good works of the Carmelite Scapular Confraternity throughout the world. Pope Pius XII often spoke of the Scapular. On the 700th anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady to St. Simon Stock, Pope Pius XII referred to the Scapular as “the sign of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”. The Scapular also 
represents the sweet yoke of Jesus Christ, which Mary helps us to bear. And finally, the pope continued, the Scapular marks us as one of Mary’s chosen children, and becomes for us (as the Germans call it) a “Garment of Grace”. St. Claude tells us, “Of all the pious practices which have inspired the faithful to honor the Mother of God, there is none so sure as that of the Scapular. No other devotion has been confirmed by so many and such extraordinary miracles.”

As we mentioned above, during the Scapular Anniversary celebration in Rome in 1951, Pope Pius XII told a very large audience to wear the Brown Scapular as a sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady asked for this consecration in the last apparition at Fatima, when She appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, holding the Brown Scapular out to the whole world. It was Her last moving appeal to souls to wear Her Scapular as a sign of consecration to Her Immaculate Heart.

A Brief Summary
The Scapular is a habit -- Our Lady’s habit.

May a non-Catholic wear the Brown Scapular?

Yes, and in doing so a non-catholic will receive many graces and blessings with this special sign of devotion to the Blessed Mother of God. Although baptized Catholics are the only ones who can be officially enrolled in the Confraternity and enjoy the special Scapular privileges, non-Catholics are warmly encouraged to avail themselves of this special way of honoring Jesus’ Mother. By wearing the Scapular we are dedicated to Our Blessed Mother in a special way and have a strong claim upon Her protection and intercession.

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