• 16 Jul 19

Jul 16 - “Our Lady of Mt. Carmel” © icon by Br. Robert Lentz, OFM. Happy Feast Day Our Lady!

In the 11th century a group of Latin Rite hermits began living on Mount Carmel in Palestine, following the example of the Prophet Elias who had lived there himself, many centuries before. In time these people of prayer became known as "the hermits of St. Mary of Mount Carmel." Their life was marked by poverty, manual work, silence, simple liturgical prayer and solitude. Because of Muslim victories in the Holy Land, the hermits eventually moved to England and other European countries, where they became the Carmelite Order of the Catholic Church.

Mary, herself, was a contemplative person. Perhaps this is the reason the first hermits of Mount Carmel placed themselves under her patronage. This icon of Our Lady of Mount Carmel combines Byzantine and Latin elements, like the early history of the Carmelites. In her right hand, Mary holds the brown Carmelite scapular.