Lady’s Night — Flos Carmeli
Since Catholics traditionally consider Saturday to be dedicated to Our Lady, every Saturday night I would to dedicate a post to the Blessed Mother under the heading Lady’s Night. And July 16th being the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I thought it would be most appropriate to have our first Lady’s Night.
In later posts I’ll write more about my filial love for and devotion to the Blessed Virgin, particularly under her title Our Lady of Mt. Carmel as well as my membership in the Carmelite family.
In the Liturgy of the Hours, I believe that today is listed as an “Optional Memorial”. Carmelites (like myself), not only take the option but also celebrate today as a Solemnity. In the Carmelite Rite, today also has its own liturgical sequence before the Gospel: it is an ancient hymn, supposedly written by St. Simon Stock, called Flos Carmeli (Flower of Carmel).
Flower of Carmel, Tall vine blossom laden; Splendor of heaven, Childbearing yet maiden. None equals thee.
Mother so tender, Who no man didst know, On Carmel’s children Thy favors bestow. Star of the Sea.
Strong stem of Jesse, Who bore one bright flower, Be ever near us And guard us each hour, who serve thee here.
Purest of lilies, That flowers among thorns, Bring help to the true heart That in weakness turns and trusts in thee.
Strongest of armor, We trust in thy might: Under thy mantle, Hard press’d in the fight, we call to thee.
Our way uncertain, Surrounded by foes, Unfailing counsel You give to those who turn to thee.
O gentle Mother Who in Carmel reigns, Share with your servants That gladness you gained and now enjoy.
Hail, Gate of Heaven, With glory now crowned, Bring us to safety Where thy Son is found, true joy to see. Amen.
(Photo: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Carmelite House of Prayer, Oakville, CA)