Monday, July 09, 2012

Why I love Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Ave Maria!

It is all due to the scapular I suppose.  I like to tell the story how I begged, nagged, and tormented my sister's girlfriend to give me her scapular one day as I was going through her purse.  I was probably only four or five and Joanne defended her right to her scapular because she had received it - or more accurately, had been clothed in it - at her first communion.  I told her if she wanted to keep it so bad, she should wear it then, but she explained she didn't want to wreck it.  I told her I could wear it for her, and I'd never take it off. 

After cruel pinches, shouts, screams, vicious scratches, angry slaps and pushes - all from Beth and Joanne mind you - the girls finally succumbed, and Joanne relinquished the scapular.  It was if I were a little Jacob, snatching Esau's blessing - and I ran off to venerate my new treasure, studying closely the pictures of Our Lady and the Child Jesus, handing the exact same scapular to St. Simon.  After I found out what the words printed on the image said, I was ecstatic, and wore the scapular night and day - even in the bath tub.

I have loved the Blessed Virgin ever since that day she clothed* me with her mantle.  (I owe my sister and her girlfriend Joanne my thanks and prayers as well.)


Thou art all fair O Mary
 - and the original stain is not in thee!
O Mary!
Make my body pure, and my spirit holy.
Draw me in the odor of thy oinments...
Encompass my heart within thine.
Show thyself my mother!

But thou O lord, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

*I was an adult when I was officially clothed and enrolled in the Scapular (Confraternity).  I'm not a Carmelite except for the connection with the order of Carmel I have through enrollment in the Scapular of Mt. Carmel.  "All those who are 'enrolled' in the Brown Scapular are considered linked to the Carmelite Family in a spiritual sense and part of the worldwide 'Scapular Confraternity'."  More information here.   That's enough for me.


  1. Wonderful scapular story. Before I was enrolled in the brown scapular at my first holy communion (thought no one said anything about it actually happening and I harbor doubts to this day about it)I read about it (the scapular) in "SOUL Magazine" which I found in the back of the Church. I promptly sent off the information to have my name flown to Fatima (wow!). I became an apostle of Fatima at that point.

  2. Me too! The Sabbatine Privlege is commuted by recitation of the rosary. Even when I was living in sin I wore the scapular and prayed the rosary - just like Mel Gibson. :)

  3. Me Too!! Just like Mel Gibson!

  4. I love these stories Servus and Terry. I have always thought that childhood spirituality is so underestimated. Big things happen w/ God when we are little, don't you think? I think the deep roots to our tree of faith begin germinating in childhood. I often think how blessed I was to have several years of formation, as it were, before the madness of V2 ensued.

    1. Maria, you are are SO RIGHT. I was fortunate to have had some really devout, "old school" nuns. They were OLD, REALLY OLD in the 1970s (like 80s and 90s!) They taught me most everything I know. Their favorite lines were, "you kids need to start getting serious about your religion" or "girlie, if you dont stop worrying about the boys in class one day they are going to be your demise" They introduced us to Fatima and the rosary. We used to play this game in religion called, "Heart" which was like a Catholic bingo...Sister asked the questions, "Who made You?" and you found the answer on your card. We played blackout. If you won then you could chooose from the assorted Holy Cards, prayer booklets, rosaries (some glowed in the dark! I thought it was it miracle one night lol). They introduced us to the concept of "offering things up" and "praying for a happy death" Before we left class she would always tell us, "dont forget to stop and make a little visit" When I started to serve Mass after my first communion, Father gave me maniples that were no longer in use and old missals. I set up an altar in my closet. I said my prayers there morning and evening. That's why I inundate my nieces and nephews with religious books and paraphernalia because most of them aren't taken to mass.


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