A novena (from Latin: Novem, meaning Nine) is an institutional act of religious pious devotion in the Roman Catholic Church, often consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days in belief of obtaining special intercessory graces.
Dear brothers and sisters of the Carmelite Family:
The solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is approaching and - like every year - I would like to send you my most cordial fraternal greetings on our patronal feast, in which we remember Mary under the beloved title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Dear brothers and sisters of the Carmelite family:
The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is approaching and, like every year, I want to send you an affectionate greeting with my most sincere congratulations. I hope that the feast and all the celebrations of these days (novenas, processions, religious and cultural events, etc.) will be an occasion to honor Mary under this title so popular and endearing and so dear to all of us Carmelites. May these celebrations touch our hearts, inspire our living of the charism, and transform our lives so that we become more and more faithful to the values of the Gospel.
Another great Carmelite Marian writer of the seventeenth century was Father Stephen of St. Francis Xavier, famed especially for his interest in Carmel’s Third Order. In his Exhortations Monastiques, a series of conferences touching on all things Carmelite, Father Stephen has left us a clear description of the relationship which must exist between Our Lady and the Carmelite.
We often hear and read the title of the Carmelite Order. Here we wish to explain it and show its significance and appropriateness. But that we might best understand it, we will have to consider it according to the mind of the people of the Middle Ages. For it was during the Middle Ages that the Order was forced to defend not only its title, but its very existence.
|As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven.
All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."