Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Carmelite family is named in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, whom we claim as mother, mistress, patroness and advocate.
Before Jesus died on the cross he gave us his mother Mary to be our Mother also. As Christians we love and venerate her as Mother of the Church. According to Karl Rahner confident prayer to Mary can even be regarded as a touchstone of genuinely Catholic faith.
In the same way among Carmelites from the earliest beginnings Our Lady has been loved and venerated as central to our tradition. The brothers on Mount Carmel saw her as Queen and Lady of the Place, and later related to her more as our Mother and protectress.
Similarly St Teresa always spoke of Carmel as the Order of Our Lady; if anything be good in her life and her work, she says, "may it be for the honour and glory of God, and the service of His most Blessed Mother, our Lady and Patroness, whose habit I wear."
Her presence pervades our entire vocation. She is our sister on whom we model ourselves as she welcomes God's word and ponders it in her heart, gives it her total loving acceptance and through the Spirit's overshadowing brings forth to the world its Saviour.
We follow Mary as the first disciple in her close association with "the joys and sorrows of Christ's paschal mystery." We count on her prayers to "bring us to your holy Mountain, Christ our Lord."
One with her Son in his saving work, Mary leads us ever deeper into the mysteries of Christ and his Church. The Marian character of the Order is reflected in its liturgy with gives due relative priority to the Blessed Virgin Mary's solemnities, feasts and memorias and celebrates her memory every Saturday when possible, both in the office and in the solemn singing of the Salve.
We wear the Virgin Mary's scapular to show we belong to her family. We recite the Litany of Our Lady daily and include the rosary in our personal prayer.