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July 14th

Mary, mother at the foot of the cross

Listening to the Word: At the foot of the cross (Jn 19: 25-27)

So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.


John tells us that at the foot of the cross, stood Mary and John. Mary, the mother, John, the beloved disciple. The Virgin Mother stands at the foot of the cross to give strength to her Son to fulfill his last hour. This passage of the Bible, dear to the heart of every Carmelite, teaches us that in times of suffering we are not alone, Mary and Jesus are with us. It also reminds us that, by dying, the Lord gave us his mother as a precious gift. Let us try to be grateful to him by the example of our lives.


Mary, mother at the foot of the cross, stand by our side in our daily crosses so that, like you, we may stand and accept and offer our sufferings.

Mary, mother at the foot of the cross, open our hearts so that we may welcome you at all times as the gift given us by Jesus when he was dying.

Mary, mother who bestows favors on her children, be our guide in our daily life.

My commitment is to show myself a neighbor to someone who is suffering, physically or spiritually.

Flower of Carmel
Vine blossom-laden, 
splendour of heaven, 
Child-bearing yet maiden,
None equals thee.
Mother so tender, 
whom no man didst know,
On Carmel's children
thy favours bestow,
Star of the sea.

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel


Day 8 - Novena for Our Lady of Mt Carmel by Fr. Gregory Houck


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."