In March 1899, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity was a fervent participant in the citywide preached retreat. Here’s her journal entry for 23 March, which stresses the importance of praying the Rosary: "It is the chain that unites us to Mary... Mary takes us by the hand..."
As we remember Blessed Isidore Bakanja on his feast day, this "martyr of the Scapular" calls us to follow his example of fidelity to the Blessed Virgin. We share excerpts from the homily of St. John Paul II and a brief biography from the Carmelite Order's website.
Saint Titus Brandsma describes the most thrilling moment of Saturday evening devotions in the Church of the Carmelites: the solemn chanting of the Salve Regina. "All now stand before the altar of Mary... above which the statue of Mary glimmers in the light."
St. Titus Brandsma explains that when "the Holy Virgin gifted the Holy Scapular to the Order as the pledge of her special protection... the Netherlands already had a cloister" founded by St. Simon Stock himself.
"...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."
In her article for the Augsburg Post in March 1935, St Edith Stein mentioned the origin of the brown scapular of Carmel: "the Blessed Virgin appeared to the general of the Order, Simon Stock, an Englishman, and gave him the scapular." Edith takes this piece of Carmelite tradition and firmly plants it within the Order's Marian spirituality.
St. Oscar Arnulfo Romero was martyred on 24 March 1980 as he celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Divina Providencia cancer hospital in San Salvador, El Salvador. We have the English translation of his homily from 16 July 1977, which he preached in the Church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Santa Tecla El Salvador.
Excerpts from the diary of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity for 23 March 1899: "There are three principal devotions to Mary: the scapular, pictures, the rosary..."
The sign of the Scapular points to an effective synthesis of Marian spirituality, which nourishes the devotion of believers and makes them sensitive to the Virgin Mother's loving presence in their lives.
As the soul is united to Christ, so Carmel is hidden in Mary. She is, par excellence, the contemplative soul.
Grant us grace to climb Mount Carmel and to learn that love is loss. Guide us still our ways outdistance all earth’s treasures save the cross.
She extended, in visible fashion, her special protection over the Order that has always called itself her own.
On 22 April 1909, the agent tore the scapular from Blessed Isidore’s neck, had him pinned to the ground, and then beaten