Our Lady of Mount Carmel - Photo

Br. Lawrence, O.P

"Carmelites see in the Virgin Mary, Mother of God and archetype of the Church, the perfect image of all that they want and hope to be. For this reason, Carmelites have always thought of Mary as the Patron of the Order, its Mother and Splendour; she is constantly before their eyes and in their hearts as "the Virgin Most Pure." Looking to her, and living in spiritual intimacy with her, we learn to stand before God, and with one another, as the Lord's brothers. Mary lives among us, as mother and sister, attentive to our needs; along with us she waits and hopes, suffers and rejoices. The scapular is a sign of Mary's permanent and constant motherly love for Carmelite brothers and sisters. By their devotion to the scapular, faithful to a tradition in the Order, especially since the 16th century, Carmelites express the loving closeness of Mary to the people of God; it is a sign of consecration to Mary, a means of uniting the faithful to the Order, and an effective and popular means of evangelisation."

- from the Carmelite Constitutions, 1995.

Today, 16 July, is the feast of the patroness of the Carmelite Order, and this statue of the Virgin of Mount Carmel appearing to St Simon Stock, a 13th-century English Carmelite friar is in the church of the reformed (discalced) Carmelites in Salamanca.