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The Role of MARY in Carmelite Formation

When the first Carmelites came together on Mount Carmel some 800 years ago, they were embarking on a new quest. They were seeking the presence of God by contemplating deeply the Scriptures along with their own experiences. In this quest for God, they came to see the Blessed Virgin Mary as their preeminent guide. The earliest Carmelites were attentive to the scripture passage that described Mary as keeping “all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”

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Pontiff Praises Wearing the Scapular

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 17, 2011- Benedict XVI today noted that the scapular is a "particular sign of union with Jesus and Mary."

The Pope commented on the use of this devotion when he addressed Polish-speaking pilgrims gathered at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo to pray the midday Angelus.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The early hermits on Mount Carmel quickly became known as "The Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel" because their little chapel was dedicated to her. The Marian title meant a great deal to the brothers and influenced the spirit by which they tried to live the Gospel message. Many of the older religious orders pick out a special facet of Our Lord's life or teaching, which they want to emphasise and keep alive.

Letter from Prior General

Dear Brothers and friends of the Carmelite Family,
We are once again approaching the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. July is the Carmelite month par excellence and many things will remind us of our identity, our saints, our history and our spirituality.  Among all of these the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has pride of place in the lives of Carmelites.

Names Given to Mary

With the passage of time the Carmelites thought up tender expressions with which to speak about and to Mary. Here follows a list, somewhat incomplete, of titles found in writings, songs and poetry from various periods and which make specific reference to the Order.

The titles which are common to the whole Church have been left out, those such as Star of the Sea, Splendor of Heaven etc.

Marian Devotion: A Call to the Interior Life

Text from Gabriel of St. Maria Magdalena, OCD, Intimitd divina, 2nd‘, Roma 1956, pp. 1313-131

 

Devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is a call to the interior life, which is in a very special way the life of Mary Our Lady wishes us to be like hen more in heart and in spirit, than by wearing an exterior habit. If we penetrate Mary’s soul, we see that grace flourished in her and that her interior life was immensely rich.

Day by Day with Mary

In the Directory for the formation of novices of the Touraine Reform (ed., Paris, 1650-1651), there is mention of customs for honouring Mary and offering one's daily actions to her. Among others, we can note the following:

 

• The one who is to take care of cleaning the convent, can pray while he is working:

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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."