Mangaluru, July 16, 2018: The annual feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, popularly known as the Feast of the Scapular (Benthin Festh in Konkani) was celebrated at the Infant Jesus Shrine, Bikarnakatte July 15 Sunday, along with Secular Carmelites and the faithful.
Throughout the day there were masses including the Solemn festal Mass at 5.30pm. During all the masses the Holy Scapular, the symbol of Our Lady’s protection, was distributed. In preparation for the feast, there were novenas which began on July 6th, with a reflection each day on the different aspects of Rosary, which reflected the inner life of Mary. The priests and religious were invited from Mangalore diocese to share in the celebration.
Fr. Andrew Leo D’Souza, the Parish Priest of St. Lawrence Church, Bondel presided over the festal Mass. Fr. Alwyn Sequiera, OCD preached Homily on the theme, ‘Mary- the model of Contemplation and Best of Mystics.’ Fr. Wilfred Rodrigues, the superior, thanked all the benefactors and volunteers, who are at the service of Carmelites at Carmel hill throughout the year. The devotees came in large numbers throughout the day and received the blessings of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Recap - Our Lady of Mount Carmel : The title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid-13th century. They built in the midst of their hermitages a chapel which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they prayed to in chivalric terms as the "Lady of the place." Our Lady of Mount Carmel after the arrival in Mangalore of the Carmlites in 1800s has spurred a deep devotion among Konkani Catholics and wearing the scapular (Benthin in Konkani) has become a sacred practice here.
The annual liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on July 16, The solemn liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was probably first celebrated in England in the later part of the 14th century. Its object was thanksgiving to Mary, the patroness of the Carmelite Order, for the benefits she had accorded to it through its difficult early years. The institution of the feast may have come in the wake of the vindication of their title "Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary" at Cambridge, England in 1374. The date chosen was 17 July; on the European mainland this date conflicted with the feast of St. Alexis, requiring a shift to 16 July, which remains the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel throughout the Catholic Church.
The Carmelite Order was the only religious order to be started in the Crusader States. In the 13th century, some of its people migrated west to England, setting up a chapter and being documented there about 1241-1242. A tradition first attested to in the late 14th century says that Saint Simon Stock, believed to be an early English prior general of the Carmelite Order soon after its migration to England, had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in which she gave him the Brown Scapular. This formed part of the Carmelite habit after 1287. In Stock’s vision, Mary promised that those who died wearing the scapular would be saved.