by Sister Helena of Mary, O.Carm.
The year 2017 marks the 100th year of Mary’s apparitions to the three children at Fatima, Portugal. In order to celebrate with dignity this centennial, Pope Francis has mandated a Jubilee Year, with the inherent plenary indulgence, from November 27, 2016 to November 26, 2017.
You can read more about it HERE.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, New York held an Enthronement Ceremony of a special statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on February 4, 2017. There was Mass celebrated by Fr. Francis Amodio, O.Carm., Scriptural Rosary participated by both Lay Carmelites, Carmelites in initial formation and the public at large. Our novice Sister Philomena and I attended. Below is a short history of the Statue of Mount Carmel installed at the Shrine as found in the booklet circulated at the event:
"In the final Fatima vision on October 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Lucia Dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, clothed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel and holding the Brown Scapular in her hands.
Lucia joined the Discalced Carmelite nuns in 1947. Father Donald O’Callaghan, O.Carm. and Father Albert Ward, O.Carm. visited Sister Lucia at her convent in Coimbra, Portugal to speak with her about how Mary appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the last vision.
With the help of Father Louis Gonzaga Oliveira, O.Carm., Father O’Callaghan commissioned the famous sculptor, Jose Ferreira Thedim to create a statue based on Sister Lucia’s interpretation of the vision. The statue embodies the vision exactly as described by Sister Lucia. Our Lady is holding the Brown Scapular in her hand. The presence of Jesus as a child in this vision is also significant because he seems to be waiting and anxious to receive into his small arms all who will take the scapular.
The statue of the final vision was blessed on September 13, 1949 by the Bishop of Fatima before being shipped to New York. It was displayed at Our Lady of the Scapular Carmelite Parish in Manhattan and blessed by Francis Cardinal Spellman on July 16, 1950.
The Carmelites left Our Lady of the Scapular-St. Stephen’s in 2007 but the statue remained in Manhattan. In November 2014, Father Mario Esposito, O.Carm. asked that the statue be returned to the Carmelites of the Saint Elias Province and in July 2015 it was brought back to Middletown, New York.
Father Michael Kissane, O.Carm. directed that the statue be cleaned and restored to its former beauty.Plans are currently underway to have it permanently installed at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, New York."