I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
Our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Saturday Evening in the Church of the Carmelites
The bells of the cloister church peal so joyfully, ring so loudly that people would think that today is a feast day. And yet it is only Saturday evening. But this is the day of Mary. And it is on this evening that the Carmelite Fathers hold their Benediction in honor of Our Lady of the Holy Scapular, in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
They have just prayed Matins and now, one by one, with the younger ones in front and the Prior behind, they enter the Choir before the High Altar.
Because of their stately robe, the long white mantle, people see almost nothing of their brown habit and Scapular. It is only when they kneel before the Holy of Holies, bow down and reverently kiss the garment which was given to them by Heaven itself as a pledge of Mary’s protection, that people see the dark colors beneath all that white.
On such an evening, it is as if they carefully expose that monastic garment to their Redeemer, reverently kissing it as a sign of gratitude and then, so that it remains spotless, covering it with the symbol of purity, and in this way following the Lamb, wherever it goes.
O Most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel,
Fruitful Vine, Splendor of heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity.
O Star of the Sea, help me
and show me herein that you are my Mother.
O Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Queen of heaven and earth,
I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart
to succor me in this necessity.
There are none that can withstand your power!
O help me and show me herein that you are my Mother.
Our Lady, Queen and Beauty of Carmel,
pray for me and obtain my requests!
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands!
English translations of the writings of Saint Titus Brandsma and their source texts are owned by the Titus Brandsma Institute and the Dutch Carmelite Province. The translators vary from one source text to another. The texts are freely available for personal use. We are deeply grateful to the Titus Brandsma Institute for providing these translations. For questions or requests contact the Titus Brandsma Institute.
All scripture references are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America as accessed from the Bible Gateway website.
Don’t become discouraged and give up prayer, says St. John of the Cross. We offer varying novenas to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, as well as novenas to St. Joseph, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, and St. Edith Stein.Let us unite in prayer