This work is basically a history of the Scapular and the Carmelites from the time of the Prophet Elias. This is followed by the many benefits that the Scapular has received.
This work commences
The ancient and most famous Order of the most blessed Virgin was begun, and founded on this Mountain of Carmel, about nine hundred and thirty years before the coming of our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, for which cause the professors of the Order are commonly called Carmelites; taking their denomination (as it hath happened to other Orders) from the place where their institute was first founded.
The institutor of it was the great prophet Elias, who three times made fire come down from heaven to punish the Idolaters; who, by his prayers, hindered rain from the space of three years; who was carried away in a fiery chariot, and is to this day preserved alive, to come to preach before the Day of Judgment, the faith of Jesus Christ, against Anti-Christ, and his adherents.
The holy prophet praying on Mount Carmel, (as it is related, 4 Kings, 18) saw a little cloud rise from the sea, which he knew from a prophetical notion, to signify the glorious Virgin Mary, who was to spring forth out of the infected and bitter sea of our corrupt nature, without any corruption, and like an auspicious cloud, being resolved from the force of the Holy Ghost's descent on her, she was to water this barren world with the heavenly dew of the expected Messias. Wherefore, by express command of Almighty God, he presently began to institute a religious congregation which was to be dedicated to the honour, service, and imitation of this sacred Virgin, as it is at large related by John the 44th Patriarch of Jerusalem, de ortu Monachorum, cap. 32. And for as much we affirm Elias to have been the author of Monastic Discipline; it is asserted by many holy Fathers, St. Athanasius in vita St. Antonii; St. Hierom Epist. Ad Paulinum; which is, De Institutione Monachi, Cassianus, lib. S. De Origin, &c. Instit. Monach. cap. 2. Isidorus Hispol, lib. 2. De Origine, cap. 15, and others.
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