11 The Scapular Devotion - Sr Angela Joseph CCR

posted Jul 11, 2018, 10:54 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 11, 2018, 10:54 AM ]

The Promise of Protection and Interior Life

The journey of Interior Life of the Carmelite traditions goes back to the time of Prophet Elijah in the Old Testament, when there had been a community of men who were hermits dwelling at Mount Carmel. Their solitude and prayer lasted for many days, and the tradition continued for long. From this small beginning, the Contemplative Order of the Carmelites emerged. These monks were forced to flee to different lands due to persecutions. They went to Cyprus, Sicily, France and England. It was at the first Chapter Meeting of the Order that Fr Simon Stock was elected as the first Father General of the Order of Our Lady of Mt Carmel.

The Carmelites are known for their extraordinary devotion to Mary, under the patronage of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. It is through the protection of Mary, the Carmelite Order began to grow and flourish, first in Northern Israel, and then in the other regions of the world as well. The Carmelite Order, specially devoted to Mary, has always regarded her as its Queen and Mother.

The Roots and the Spread

St Simon Stock, as the General of the Carmelite Order, had made remarkable developments. He established Carmelite houses in four university towns viz. Carmelite Bridge, Oxford, Paris and Bologna, which resulted in a large number of young men joining the Order. St Simon also established many foundations in England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and various other European countries. During his time, the Carmelite Order went through a lot of struggles and harassment from outside the Order. It was during this stressful time that the Blessed Mother appeared to St Simon Stock and gave him the Brown Scapular. Mary appeared to him, holding the Scapular of the Order in her hand, and she said, “This shall be a Privilege to you and all the Carmelites; he who dies wearing it shall be saved.” This was a sure sign for the Carmelites that Mary’s maternal protection was a genuine reality.