As we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16, we invite you to reflect on this Marian devotion and explore where it is honored in the Basilica with our immersive virtual tour.
History of the Tradition
According to tradition, the scapular of Carmel was presented to St. Simon Stock in the 13th century during a period when the Carmelite Order was severely oppressed. The Blessed Mother appeared to him as an apparition and said to him:
“Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection.”
The scapular has become a widely used devotion, with special significance for protection as well as a reminder to practice the “habit” of Christian conduct, as described by St. Pope John Paul II.
The Chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was gifted to the Basilica by the Carmelite Fathers of the American Provinces and dedicated in 1965. The Carmelites trace their origin to Mount Carmel in modern-day Israel, which the prophet Elijah consecrated to God (1 Kings 18), as depicted in the double stained-glass window above the chapel. The word carmel means “orchard” or “vineyard.”
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is depicted in relief at the center of the chapel’s mosaic. The Mother and Child hold the brown scapular given to Simon Stock on May 16, 1251, and are encircled by sculptures of six Carmelite saints: Andrew Corsini, Teresa of Avila, Simon Stock, Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, John of the Cross, and Thérèse of Lisieux.
You can explore the chapel in 360° below!
Prayer to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
The chapel features the following prayer:
“O Most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, beautiful vine, splendor of heaven, Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity… O Star of the Sea, help me and show me herein you are my mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God, Queen of heaven and earth, I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart, to succor me in this my necessity; there are none that can withstand your power.
O show me herein you are my Mother. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse. Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands.”
The Basilica Guidebook, Dr. Geraldine Rohling