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Flower of Carmel – Flos Carmeli – You Are Our Mother

Flower of Carmel – Flos Carmeli – You are our Mother

Every year on July 16th, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful prayers ever written, the Flos Carmeli.

Most of us pray – before meals, morning and/or night prayers, many people pray before a trip, and at Mass, of course. Yet, for all of us, there are times in life when we really pray, I mean, a sincere, heart-gripping, heartfelt prayer, a prayer filled with faith and yearning and pleading, a prayer of love. Often something very important is a stake and the prayer takes on a great importance within the whole situation. When “push comes to shove” as the saying goes, we Catholics know how to really pray our prayers from our hearts. And, down on our knees we go!

Still, many of us, if not the majority of us, do not pray with such intensity every single day. It wells up within us in only during times of suffering, crisis, and confusion.

Flower of Carmel – Flos Carmeli

The Flos Carmeli is a Carmelite hymn [click here to listen to it] and prayer. Flos Carmeli is Latin for “Flower of Carmel” and was first used as the sequence for the Feast of St. Simon Stock. Beginning in 1663 it became the sequence for the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. It is said to have been written by St. Simon Stock himself (c.1165 – 1265). The prayer is taken from the first two stanzas of the sequence.

Oral tradition tells of St. Simon Stock praying with a passionate intensity to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel during a time of great distress and hardship for the Order. With fervor and faith, he prayed for the first time the Flos Carmeli prayer which he wrote. And Our Lady answered that prayer. Thus, for seven centuries the Flos Carmeli continues to be prayed to the Blessed Mother with the firm faith that she will answer its request with her powerful help.

The prayer below is from the first two verses of the longer sequence. I must admit that I love the prayer and pray it often.

Flos Carmeli Prayer

O beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine,
Splendor of Heaven, holy and singular,
who brought forth the Son of God,
still ever remaining a Pure Virgin,
assist me in this necessity.
O Star of the sea, help and protect me!
Show me that Thou art my Mother.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to Thee!

Mother and Beauty of Carmel, Pray for us!
Virgin, Flower of Carmel, Pray for us!
Patroness of all who wear the Scapular, Pray for us!
Hope of all who die wearing the Scapular, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Friend of the Sacred Heart, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Chaste Spouse of Mary, Pray for us!
St. Joseph, Our Patron, Pray for us!
O sweet Heart of Mary, Be our salvation!


This post and photograph were originally published on the website of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. Used with permission.

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About Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

PROMOTING A DEEPER SPIRITUAL LIFE THROUGH HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION AND RETREATS. The way of life of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is rooted in the Gospel, the Church, and the spirituality of Carmel as lived out through the charism of our foundress, Venerable Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament. In His merciful goodness, God has graced our Institute with the Carmelite charism which has its foundation in a long history and living tradition. Our vocation is a grace by which contemplation and action are blended to become an apostolic service of the Church as we promote a deeper spiritual life among God's people through education, healthcare, and spiritual retreats. We are called by God to be a presence inflamed within our world, witnessing to God's love through prayer, joyful witness and loving service. Our mission flows from each sister's profound life of prayer as Mother Luisita, our foundress, wrote, "the soul of each Carmelite raises herself to Christ, Who is her heaven, while her shadow falls in charity upon earth doing good to all people."

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  • Jen

    I love spiritual direction and my heart fills with joy with each email I receive. Please pray for me.

  • Jen

    Beautiful site and I am filled with joy and holiness after reading spiritual direction. Please, please pray for me.

    • LizEst

      You are most kind, Jen. My prayers for you!

  • Patricia

    A Meditation on Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

    Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel – Be our constant hope.
    Mary, perfect disciple of the Lord – Make us also faithful to him.
    Mary, Flower of Carmel – Fill us with your joy.
    Virgin Mary, Beauty of Carmel – Smile upon your family
    Sweet Mother of Carmel – Accept me as your child.
    Holy, Mother beyond compare – Remember your children forever.
    Holy Virgin, Star of the Sea – Be our beacon of Light.
    Protecting Veil – Shelter us in the mantle of your love.
    Mary, conceived without sin – pray for us who have recourse to you.

    • LizEst

      Thank you, Patricia. That’s beautiful. Do you know the provenance of that prayer? It’s all over the internet. We would like to source it.

      • Patricia

        To the previous verses to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
        as prayed at the Carmelite friary at Aylesford, Kent … add the following:

        Let us pray:
        O Father of all, look upon us as your children,
        and support us with your strength.
        May we, who honour the memory of
        Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
        always rejoice in her unfailing protection.
        Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

        I didn’t source it because I am not sure. It is a traditional Carmelite Prayer. I have it on a small slip of paper in a prayer book and there is no author…….just the prayer.

        • LizEst

          Thanks. Edited for brevity. Found the link and appended it above. It’s a beautiful prayer. God bless you, Patricia.

  • marybernadette

    As with the The ‘Miraculous’ Medal, there have been many ‘miracles’regarding the ‘Brown Scapular.’Our Blessed Mother told St. Dominic that one day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, she will save the world (with God’s Grace, of course)
    Our Lady of Fatima during the Miracle of the Sun ,on Oct. 13 1917 held out the Brown Scapular. She wants us to wear it always and to pray at least 5 decades of the Rosary each day.Every Pope since the year 12 80.A.D. .has worn the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount .Carmel. I got this info from ‘The Fatima Center’ (the USA and Canada,)with an ‘Imprimatur ‘
    from Bishop Cletus C. Perera O. S. B.

    • LizEst

      Yes, there is much on the brown scapular, marybernadette. As to every pope since 1280 wearing it, we cannot confirm that. That imprimatur was done in 2010 and we’ve had a new pope since then. As well, the site you got that from supports a priest who was not in the best standing with the Church while he was still alive. In fact, that priest, who is now dead, is still listed as living on the site you got your information from. You may want to read about the scapular from a post that the same Carmelite Sisters wrote and is on our site here:

      • marybernadette

        ‘Thank you for this, Liz. Of course, it is so important to get ‘all the facts.’
        I was wondering about the ‘every ‘bishop statement’ I suppose I was relying on the ‘Imprimatur ‘ The Priest in question, I remember he was a Canadian , his name Fr. Nicholas Grunner May God have mercy on Him.
        It really is important to be careful and discerning, where we get our ‘sources’ from.

        • LizEst

          Hi marybernadette! Thanks for your note. God bless you!

          • marybernadette

            Hi Lizi
            I read the info on the Scapular from the link and I appreciate it xery much. May God bless all at “Catholic Spiritual Direction’ for the much needed guidance.

  • Fr William Barrocas

    Pray dearest Mama you who we honour today as Flos Carmeli…Tota Pulchra…pray please we plead for us your children all in your beloved Son Yehoshua…but pray specially for your persecuted children all over the world.Thank you Mama…Thank you ever so much for ever and ever Amen.

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