By Vatican News
“With you, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, together on this journey, today we entrust to you what we are, what we have and what we live.” Those are the words contained in a message from the Standing Committee of the Chilean Bishops' Conference, on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel .
Hope and comfort
The feast of July 16, they say, is "a sign of the gratitude of a people who entrust themselves to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Carmel, Mother and Queen of Chile, Comfort of the afflicted". From the beginning, the Bishops underline, the country has been entrusted to the "Carmelite" or the "Chinita". This year especially, as the country experiences the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they say that people can find hope and comfort in her.
Unlike other years, the faithful are unable to make pilgrimages to Marian Shrines. But the Bishops emphasize that they have the "certainty of feeling protected by her mantle".
Near to those who suffer
"Our Lady of Mount Carmel embraces us and whispers in our ears that Jesus is always with us, and never abandons us.” The Bishops continue by saying that Our Lady’s maternal hand, soft and always outstretched, lifts us up and makes us return to her beloved Son, and He is to be found in our suffering brother and sister.
The Mother of Chile, they note, "urges us to be present, more so than with words, through physical or remote presence at the side of those who suffer", because "no one saves himself", as Pope Francis recalled.
In the message, the Bishops also thank the many volunteers for their work during this health crisis. "The precariousness and fragility into which the pandemic has plunged all of us, especially the authorities, representatives and leaders of society," they say, "oblige us to put aside personal and sectarian interests in order to truly resume the ways of dialogue with generous agreements". “Only together can we overcome the injustices and recover from this crisis”.
Mother and Queen of Chile
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. Our Lady of Mount Carmel was given the title Queen of Chile in the 19th century..
Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is centered on the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel also known as the Brown Scapular. Mary is said to have given the Scapular to an early Carmelite named Saint Simon Stock (1165-1265). The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on 16 July.
Addressing authorities during his visit to Chile in 2018, Pope Francis concluded his speech by saying: "I pray that Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mother and Queen of Chile, will continue to accompany and bring to birth the dreams of this blessed nation."