July 1, 2024
Jesus bleeding on the cross from his crown of thorns into a chalice.

July: Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus

OCDS Shield

By Mary O'Boyle OCDS,
Christchurch President

Dear Seculars,

Hail Mary, Full of Grace!

July 16th is the Patronal Feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a joyous day for Carmelites throughout the world.

It was in the 12th century that hermits lived on Mount Carmel near the fountain of Elijah. They had a chapel dedicated to Our Lady.

By the 13th century, they became known as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel”. They celebrated a special Mass and Office in honour of Mary. In 1726, it became a celebration of the universal Church under the title “Our Lady of Mount Carmel”. Carmelites see themselves as specially related to Mary as mother but also sister, sister reminds us Mary is very close to us.

St Teresa of Jesus, our foundress, called Carmel “the Order of the Virgin”.

St John of the Cross credited Mary with saving him from drowning as a child, leading him to Carmel, and helping him escape from prison.

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus believed that Mary cured her from illness and on her First Communion day, Thérèse dedicated her life to Mary.

Our Lady of Mt Carmel holding the child Jesus

Tradition says that Mary appeared to Saint Simon Stock, giving him the scapular, telling him to promote devotion to it. The scapular is a modified version of Mary’s own garment, symbolising her special protection, and calling us to consecrate ourselves to her in a special way. [From Franciscan Media website, Saint of the Day]

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Beauty and Queen of Carmel, guide and pray for us, your children.


Mary O'Boyle, OCDS

Christchurch's Peace of Christ Community President