Mount Carmel is a mountain overlooking the plain of Galilee. It became famous when the prophet Elijah, who lived many years before Jesus, was born. Chapter 18 of the Bible's First Book of Kings tells how Elijah stood up to the 450 prophets of the false god Baal. Through his prayers, God gave Elijah the power to perform a miracle to prove that Elijah's God was the true God. This happened on Mount Carmel.
Hundreds of years later, a group of European monks who had a special devotion to Mother Mary began to live on Mount Carmel. They were called friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. This was the start of the Carmelite order which was approved by Pope Honorius III. Simon Stock, an Englishman, became the superior of the Carmelites. He helped the order to grow following the example of the Dominicans and Franciscans.
When they began to suffer harassment for their faith, they turned to Mary for help. On July 16, 1251, Mary appeared to St. Simon and gave him the brown scapular. She promised her protection to all those who would wear the blessed habit. Many miracles proved her words. St. Pope Pius X said that people could have the same blessings if they would wear the scapular medal. This medal has a picture of Our Lady of the Scapular on one side and the Sacred Heart on the other. Simon Stock died in Bordeaux, France, in 1265.
"Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart." (Luke 2:19)