Saint of the Day for 16 July: Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel
‘Stella Maris’ leading to contemplation and imitation of Christ
Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel
Most pitiful Virgin of Mount Carmel, you who are the joy of the Church triumphant, the help of the Church militant, you are also the comfort of the Church in purgatory. Remember, O Holy Virgin, to succour especially those of my relatives and all those likewise who are most abandoned and deprived of suffrages. Pour, O most pitiful Lady, in large measure upon the Lord’s chosen brides the merits of the precious blood of Jesus Christ, that they may remain refreshed in eternal joy. And you, Blessed Souls, who can do so much before God with your prayers, deh, intercede for us and deliver us from all dangers of body and soul; protect our families, that we may all be granted admission to eternal bliss. So be it.
Capannori, Mesagne, Boscoreale, Noicattaro, Casamassima, Piossasco, Ispica, Leonforte, Rionero in Vulture, Lavagna
Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, where the prophet Elijah had once led the people of Israel back to the worship of the living God, and then hermits in search of solitude withdrew, establishing an Order of contemplative life under the patronage of the holy Mother of God.
The Saint and Mission
The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel is an inspiration to all who wish to embrace the mission of living a life of faith and imitation of Christ. As the spiritual mother of Mount Carmel, she guides and supports those who seek the depth of contemplation and the pursuit of holiness.
The mission of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel is to accompany souls along the path of conversion and consecration to God. Through her example of humility, obedience and trust in God, she teaches us to follow Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives.
Mary of Mount Carmel invites us to retreat into the inner solitude of the heart, to encounter God in prayer and contemplation. She urges us to put aside worldly concerns and to seek true joy in the embrace of God’s love.
Her mission reminds us that the spiritual life is a journey of continuous conversion and an opportunity to grow in grace. Mary of Mount Carmel supports us in our commitment to live according to the heart of Christ, encouraging us to bring the light of God’s love to the world.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel guide and inspire us to live our mission faithfully, bringing the loving presence of Christ to those around us and leading us to the fullness of life in God.
The Saint and Mercy
The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel is a model of mercy and compassion. As a spiritual mother, she offers comfort and support to those who turn to her with confidence, interceding for their needs and offering her motherly intercession.
Mary of Mount Carmel is known as the ‘Star of the Sea’ who guides sailors to salvation. In her maternal mercy, she welcomes all who turn to her, regardless of their faults or weaknesses.
Her mission of mercy impels us to approach her, seeking comfort and grace. She offers us her maternal protection and shows us the way of God’s love, encouraging us to forgive others and extend mercy to those around us.
The Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel teaches us that mercy is an act of love that transcends all boundaries and transforms our lives. She invites us to follow her example, having a compassionate and generous heart towards others, showing them the love and understanding we have received from God.
May our relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel lead us to reflect on her maternal mercy and encourage us to live God’s mercy in our daily lives, offering comfort, forgiveness and love to all those we meet along the way.
From the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, the Order of the Carmelites was founded in the 12th century. This evolved over the centuries, giving rise to numerous congregations and branches, including that of the Carmelites, a female religious order within the Catholic Church.
The Carmelites live in monastic communities and devote much of their time to prayer, contemplation and the pursuit of personal holiness.
However, the missionary commitment of Carmelites around the world varies between different congregations and institutes. While some communities focus mainly on the contemplative life and have no direct involvement in active evangelisation or missions abroad, other Carmelite congregations are deeply committed to missionary work.
These Carmelite missionaries, particularly in Brazil, are called to take the Gospel message and the Carmelite charism to different parts of the world, especially to places where the Christian faith is less widespread or in areas of poverty and suffering. They may be involved in activities such as teaching, social work, caring for the sick, missionary work and other forms of apostolate.
Missionary Carmelites seek to integrate their contemplative spirituality with missionary action, living a balance between prayer and service to others. They are called to witness to the Christian faith through their lives and actions, bringing hope, compassion and love to the people they meet.
It is important to note that the missionary activities of Carmelites can vary greatly from one congregation to another. Some may have a more pronounced presence in the missionary field, while others may have a more limited involvement. The specific mission activities and geographical areas depend on the decisions and directives of each Carmelite community.
Mount Carmel was, from earliest times, very famous in Palestine, but today it is Israeli territory. Men of holy life used to retire to it to honour the Virgin Mother of God even before she was born. It was also sanctified by a long stay that the prophet Elijah made there.
They then continued their pious solitary retreat to Mount Carmel, but when Muhammad’s sword subjugated Palestine, some barely managed to save themselves by hiding in caves.
Around the 11th century, a pious priest from Calabria erected a small church to the Virgin Mary on the ruins of an earlier chapel and, having gathered other companions, was given a rule of life by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Thus began the order of the Carmelites, which was later approved by the…