Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel is commemorated in Sacred Scripture for its beauty, and it was there that the prophet Efijah defended the purity of Israel’s faith in the living God. Towards the end of the twelfth century A.D. near a spring called after Efijah, a group of hermits established themselves on Mount Carmel and built an oratory in honour of Our Lady, whom they chose as their titular and patroness. They became known as ‘the Brothers of Saint Mary of Mount Carmel’. They regarded the Blessed Virgin Mary as their mother and model first of all in leading the contemplative life, and later in sharing the fruits of their contemplation with others. The Solemn Commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was first celebrated in the fourteenth century, but gradually adopted throughout the Order as an occasion of thanksgiving for the countless blessings which Our Lady had bestowed on the Carmelite family. The Scapular is a symbol of this and of consecration to her.