Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

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This statue at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Tempe depicts Our Lady holding the Christ child. The child Jesus is holding a brown scapular, which Our Lady of Mount Carmel is known for. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)
This painting behind the altar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Tempe depicts Our Lady holding the Christ child. The child Jesus is holding a brown scapular, which Our Lady of Mount Carmel is known for. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

July 16

Mount Carmel, which juts out into the Mediterranean near Haifa, Israel, has been considered a sacred place since the prophet Elijah built an altar there in his contest with the prophets of Baal.

The Carmel headland is traditionally associated with the beginnings of the Carmelite order around 1195, when a group of lay hermits formed a community there. Mary had been honored there as early as the fifth century, and by the 12th century Mount Carmel had become a site of Marian devotion.

The Carmelites chose Mary as their protectress and dedicated their oratory on Mount Carmel to her.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the patroness of Bolivia and Chile. This Marian feast became an optional memorial in the Revised Roman Calendar of 1969. She is also the patroness of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and School in TempeOur Lady of the Desert Mission in Dolan Springs and of Our Lady of Solitude Monastery in Tonopah.

This statue at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Tempe depicts Our Lady holding the Christ child. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)