Ave Maria! Happy fiesta, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel!

Our Lady, Queen Beauty of Mt. Carmel standing proudly in her retablo at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, New Manila

Our Lady, Queen Beauty of Mt. Carmel standing proudly in her retablo at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, New Manila

 

Last 16 July, I, along with countless others, celebrated the feast of our Lady, Queen Beauty of Mt. Carmel. The strongest and most tangible association we devotees have with our Blessed Mother under this title is the Brown Scapular, which was revealed to St. Simon Stock more than 700 years ago.

The sanctuary and main altar all spruced up for the 2015 fiesta

The sanctuary and main altar all spruced up for the 2015 fiesta

The main altar from last year's Mass, which was celebrated in pitch black darkness due to Typhoon Glenda.

The main altar from last year’s Mass, which was celebrated in pitch black darkness due to Typhoon Glenda.

For more than 13 years now, I’ve been reciting the novena to our Blessed Queen of Mt. Carmel but it has only been roughly 8 years since I began to religiously attend a fiesta/feast day Mass in her honor at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, the mother church of the Order of Discalced Carmelites.

Our Lady mounted on her silver-plated carroza

Our Lady mounted on her silver-plated carroza

Like before when I first attended one, I heard the feast day Mass at the National Shrine of Mt. Carmel, a cavernous church found in Broadway, New Manila, a good 10-minute-ride away from my house. It used to have a very stern facade but since it was renovated two years ago, it now sports a friendlier ambiance. Unlike in the past 8 years, I attended a morning fiesta Mass and not the High Mass fiesta Mass celebrated at 6:00 PM. The latter rite is usually followed by a procession and fireworks display.

San Juan dela Cruz, unos de los fundadores de los carmelos descalzos.

San Juan dela Cruz, unos de los fundadores de los carmelos descalzos.

Sta. Teresa de Jesus y Ahumada, fundadora de los carmelos descalzados.

Sta. Teresa de Jesus y Ahumada, fundadora de los carmelos descalzados.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, a world-famous and most beloved Carmelite saint.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, a world-famous and most beloved Carmelite saint.

Carmelite brothers and friars during the procession last year.

Carmelite brothers and friars during the procession last year.

Similar to last year (when the church was pitchblack due to Typhoon Glenda that hit Metro Manila that day), the image of Our Lady was placed on top of the squat retablo in the middle of the sanctuary. Festooned with flowers and illuminated by candles, the new set-up showcased our Blessed Mother’s statue atop the main retablo. Unfortunately, no crucifix was visible except the free-standing one, placed on the side of the altar.

Fireworks illuminate the procession on the fiesta

Fireworks illuminate the procession on the fiesta

A Carmelite brother gives away brown scapulars after the Fiesta Mass

A Carmelite brother gives away brown scapulars after the Fiesta Mass

Nevertheless, it was a beautiful Liturgy capped off with the singing of the Salve Regina and the blessing and imposition of Brown Scapulars.

 

About hechoayer

Things made yesterday still influence us until today. Things made today will influence us tomorrow. Things of the essence such as faith, culture, food, music and values should never disappear nor eroded by the times. Instead, these must be recorded, lived and shared. Something made yesterday - hecho ayer - can be tomorrow's saving grace. Never ignore the past.
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