Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16)

   My grandmother was only 21-years-old when she had my mother on July 16, 1935, but she had a mind of her own and simply would not name her first born child Crescenza after her mother-in-law. 
  My mom was born on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Madonna della Carmine) and, back then, Roman Catholics were encouraged to choose names according to the saint's feast day on which the child was born.
   Thank God my grandmother's older sister arrived at the hospital just after seeing a movie starring Marilyn Miller, Ziegfield Folly. So, my mom was named Marilyn Carmen.
  The story of Our Lady of Mount Carmel came to be when the Prophet Elijah climbed Mount Carmel in the coastal mountain range of nothern Israel to ask the heavens for water to clear the drought. And, behold, it began to rain shortly thereafter.
   Sometime in the late 12th to mid-13th century, Christian hermits who inhabited the Mount, decided to form the Carmelite Order honoring the Blessed Mother as a symbol of the rain cloud that opened up and cleared the barren land. A church was built there and the Carmelites chose the brown scapular as its symbol.
   The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel first occurred around 1376.

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