A Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

For a Special Need

Baroque statues of Our Lady of Mount Carmel from Beniaján, Spain.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel with the Christ Child, angels, and souls in Purgatory. Baroque sculpture from Beniaján, Spain.

Wikimedia Commons/Jayzaran

The prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is, like many prayers in the Catholic Church, meant for private recitation in times of need, and is usually said as a novena.

Origin

The prayer, also known as the “Flos Carmeli” (“The Flower of Carmel”), was composed by St. Simon Stock (c. 1165-1265), a Christian hermit known as a Carmelite, so called because he and other members of his order lived atop Mount Carmel in the Holy Land. St. Simon Stock is said to have been visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary on July 16, 1251, at which time she bestowed upon him a scapular, or habit, (commonly called “the Brown Scapular”), which became part of the liturgical clothing of the Carmelite order.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in honor of her visitation, and she is considered the patroness of the Carmelite Order. July 16 is also the day that Catholics celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which often begins with a recitation of the prayer. It can, however, be recited at any time for any need, usually as a novena, and can also be recited in a group as a much longer prayer known as the Litany of Intercession to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

A Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

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 my necessity. There are none that can withstand your power. O show me herein that you are my Mother.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us that have recourse to thee. (Repeat three times)

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands. (Repeat three times)

The Carmelites Today

The Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel are active to this day. The friars live together in communities, and their main spiritual focus is contemplation, although they also engage in active service. According to their website, "Carmelite friars are pastors, teachers, and spiritual directors. But, we’re also lawyers, hospital chaplains, musicians and artists. There is no one ministry that defines a Carmelite. We pray for the freedom to respond to needs wherever we find them."

The Sisters of Carmel, on the other hand, are cloistered nuns who live lives of quiet contemplation. They spend up to eight hours a day in prayer, five hours in manual labor, reading, and study, and two hours are given over to recreation. They live lives of poverty, and their welfare is dependent upon donations. According to a 2011 report by the Catholic World Report, the Carmelite nuns comprise the second largest women’s religious institute, with convents in 70 nations. There are 65 in the United States alone.

Both the friars and the nuns take as their inspiration the Blessed Virgin Mary, the fiery prophet Elijah, and saints like Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross.