St. Elijah
July 20th

St. Elijah


The prophet Elijah came from Tishbe in Transjordania in the 9th Century BC.  He appears in the Book of Kings as a man of God who lived always in God’s presence and fought zealously for the worship of the one true God.  When, out of fear he tried to hide from God, he heard the voice of the Lord telling him to drink of the stream of Carith and that ravens would feed him there and give him strength.  He did as he was told; and thus he was chosen to lead the people back to Him.

He defended God’s law in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel, and afterwards was given an intimate experience of the living God on Mount Horeb. The prophet listened for the Lord to pass by and found Him, not in an earthquake or fire, but in a gentle breeze.

Elijah’s prayers are direct and clear.  He is confident in the power of the one true God.  The inspiration that was found in him pervades the history of the Carmelite Order and when their survival required the Carmelites have a founder like the Benedictines, Dominicans, Franciscans, etc. the prophet was deservedly called the founder of the Carmelite order.  Elijah is also referred to as the founder of the contemplative monastic ideal.

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