Carmel Bulletin, 14 July 2019

The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on 16 July. The parish celebrates the feast day on the Sunday closest to the feast day, this year on Sunday 14 July. This is the final installment in a series of articles giving the background to the feast day.

Pietro Novelli, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saints (Simon Stock, Angelus of Jerusalem, Mary Magdalene de’Pazzi, Teresa of Avila),  Museo Diocesano di Palermo.
Pietro Novelli, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saints (Simon Stock, Angelus of Jerusalem, Mary Magdalene de’Pazzi, Teresa of Avila), Museo Diocesano di Palermo.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelites. As we have seen in the previous articles, the first Carmelites were hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early 13th century. They built in the midst of their hermitages a chapel which they dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Eventually many of the Carmelite hermits left the Holy Land and spread throughout Europe. As well as seeing Mary as “The Lady of the Place”, their devotion to Mary broadened. The Carmelites came to see Mary in various roles such as a Woman of Prayer, Mary the Contemplative, Mary: Queen and Beauty of Carmel, Mary: Mother and Sister. It was only in the late 14th century in England that the actual feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel first came to be celebrated on 16 July.

Denis Andrew OCarm (Parish Priest)

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