Mt. Carmel, aka Har Carmel, is a coastal mountain range located in northern Israel.
It was there that Prophet Elijah made a contest and defeated the prophets of Baal (1Kings 18:20-40)
Elijah was chosen by the first Carmelites as the model of religious and hermit life
12th Century – In 1185, St. Berthold, a crusader in his time, came to Mount Carmel and built a small chapel, gathered a community of hermits living in imitation of the prophet Elijah. He ruled the community for 45 years until his death.
1251 – The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock in a vision while he was Prior General of the Carmelite monastery of Aylesford in England.
Promoted as General Superior of the Carmelites, he instituted the Confraternity of the Scapular to unite the devout clients of the Blessed Virgin in certain regular exercises of religion and piety.
1206 – Albert Avogadro wrote the Formula of Life for the Carmelites which later became a Religious Order.
1592 – St. Teresa of Jesus (for the nuns) and St. John of the Cross (for the friars) led the reformation movement in the Carmelite Order which led to the birth of the Discalced Carmelites.
1618 – Discalced Carmelite nuns of Mexico City gave the third batch of Augustinian Recollect missionaries an image of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
The Recollect missionaries, led by Fr. Rodrigo de San Miguel, the Vicar Provincial of the missionary expedition, reached the Philippine soil in May 1618, introducing to the natives the devotion to the Our lady of Mount Carmel exactly 400 years ago.
The image was first enshrined at the Recollect convent in San Juan de Bagumbayan.
1621 – Our Lady of Mount Carmel was enthroned at the San Sebastian Church, now the Minor Basilica of San Sebastian in Quiapo, Manila.
1650 – The Recollect Prior of San Sebastian was sanctioned by the Carmelite Provincial of Andalucia, Spain to bless and spread the use of scapulars because it was the only shrine, sanctuary, and sole guardian of the holy image.
Msgr. Juan Velez of the Manila Cathedral founded the Cofradia del Carmen when he miraculously recovered from a serious illness after praying to the holy image. The Cofradia was approved in 1691 by the Carmelite Prior General and gave the Recollects full authority to firmly establish the confraternity.
1719 – Beside the centuries-old San Sebastian Basilica was erected a Beaterio entirely dedicated to the service of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. In time, the Congregation of Augustinian Recollect Sisters was born.
1890 – San Sebastian was raised to a status of Minor Basilica
1983 – A perpetual novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was initiated by San Sebastian’s Fr. Nicolas Salvatierra and is prayed every Saturday.
1991 – The image was canonically crowned under authority of St. John Paul II, in recognition of the Filipino people’s age-old devotion, edifying her as truly the Queen of Heaven.
Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin led the canonical coronation.