17 July 2018

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and communion of charisms

On July 16, the Franciscan friars celebrated Mass in memory of the Flower of Carmel in the Stella Maris Monastery.

Christians in the Holy Land

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A place that reminds us of a centuries-long history. The Stella Maris Monastery on Mount Carmel evokes silence and prayer. It is erected above the cave which is said to be of the prophet Elijah and is connected to episodes from the Old and New Testaments. The dome, rich in details, is decorated with frescoes of the spiritual heritage of the Carmelites: Elijah and the chariot of fire; David with the harp; the prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel; the Holy Family. Carved reliefs on the columns are a tribute to four of the Order's great saints: Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Miriam of Jesus Crucified and Saint Edith Stein.

Superior, Stella Maris Monastery

"This basilica is to us Carmelites a world sanctuary of devotion on Mount Carmel. The Virgin Mary has the name of the place where we began to worship Her in the 12th century".
Mount Carmel, located in the city of Haifa, with a maximum altitude of 546 meters and its many caves, began to be populated by hermits who became the first Carmelites. A story that began on July 16, 1251, when St Simon Stock, Superior General of the time, received from the Virgin Mary the sign of the scapular, which would become the garment of religious and subsequently a sacramental worn by faithful all over the world.


Superior, Stella Maris Monastery

"I've only been here for six months and my experience is extremely special and moving. I do not live nearby, but right inside the basilica and always in contact with the Virgin of Carmel. Living here and honor the Virgin is the dream of all Carmelite friars, a devotion that is part of the spiritual patrimony of the Order.”
The 16 July is therefore the official Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. As a sign of friendship, every year the Carmelite monastery welcomes the Franciscan friars who celebrate Mass in memory of Our Lady of Carmel. On August 15, the Assumption of Mary, the Carmelites are the ones who preside over in the Franciscan Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth.


Guardian and Rector of the Basilica of the Annunciation - Nazareth

"This union of charisms in the Holy Land is essential because together we carry Jesus and the love we have for the Most Blessed Virgin, and we also witness Jesus and our love for His mother, in this very reality, between Jews and Muslims. And we hope to have this communion of charisms".

For the members of the Carmelite family, the Virgin Mother of God and men is not only a model to be imitated, but also a sweet motherly presence.


"The Virgin Mary is my mother and I always pray to her. We go to church to ask Her for protection for the city of Haifa, for us and for everyone. We always pray for Her intercession, until we meet Her in heaven.”