The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Canisius | 16 July, 2007 14:50

Dom Fromage offers some delightful traditions concerning our Lady of Mt. Carmel (XIII,110-113). In the story of Elijah and the three-year drought (1King 17-19), the drought signifies—obviously enough—the spiritual barrenness of the people. The rain that ended the drought signifies Jesus, the savior, whom the Rorate coeli connects with the rain of Isaiah 45:8. Logically, therefore, the cloud from which the rain dropped signifies Mary, the mother of Jesus!

The Carmelites began their order on Mt. Carmel, where Elijah saw the cloud, the sign of Mary, and have a special devotion to our Lady. All of this connects to the fact that today's feast celebrates the official recognition of the Carmelites under the patronage of "Our Lady of Mt. Carmel".

In the midst of a delightful entry for the feast day, Dom Fromage stumbles into one unfortunate turn of phrase. Speaking of the traditions surrounding Mt. Carmel after Elijah's victory their over the priests of Baal, Dom Fromage remarks that "the cultus of the Queen of heaven was already established" (XIII,112). One of the pagan practices opposed by the prophets was worship of the "queen of heaven" (Jer 7:18, 44:17-25), a Babylonian goddess who in Israel became somewhat identified with Asherah—the consort of Baal!

I think we will celebrate today with a cake covered in caramel syrup.


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