The Prophet Elijah and the Virgin of Mount Carmel

Elijah is one of the most famous persons of the Old Testament with Moses. In Arabic, it is called «El Khader», which means the Powerful, the one who always fructifies, who never dies and he is everywhere. The prophet Elijah is appreciated by the fathers of the Church as the model of every prophet, the poor among the poor, and the founder of the monastic life. That is why Mount Carmel, after the passage of Elijah, becomes a space for eremitical life.

In the Hebrew tradition, they said that God possesses in his hands four keys: that of rain, that of life, that of resurrection and that of food. Elijah was able to dispose of these four keys because Yahweh acceded to his requests. The prophet is indeed remembered as the man, he made it rain after a period of severe drought, but also as the prophet who raised the son of the widow of Zarephath.

On Mount Carmel, Elijah is remembered for the historic challenge of the prophet (who asserts the power of the one God) to the 450 priests of Baal (religion of Queen Jezebel, wife of King Ahab).

In the first book of Kings (18, 19-46) the episode of the end of the drought for Israel is told. The Prophet Elijah’s servant was sitting on the top of the mountain when he saw a cloud rising from the sea in the form of a human hand that soon brought abundant rain to the earth and to all the thirsty people.

Mystics and exegetes, in the dawn of Christianity, have seen in this «little cloud» the image of the Virgin Mother, because with the Incarnation and the birth of Jesus, she has given us the greatest rain and blessing, giving abundant and fruitful life to the world.

Don Mario Colavita

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