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Mary Icon of the Church

A very easy question to ask, but a difficult one to answer is, what is the Church? Even more difficult is, what is the Church for? Try answering the first one, by completing the sentence, “The Church is...” What did you come up with? It is relatively effortless to come up with a name for the Church, such as the People of God/the Body of Christ. It is much more difficult to come up with a statement that locks into the heart of the Church.

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An Explanation of the Sabbatine Privilege

Our topic is the Sabbatine privilege, and we recall that it means prompt delivery from purgatory for wearers of the scapular who fulfill certain conditions, especially on the Saturday after death. We can summarize the Sabbatine privilege in two words: the first is 'devoutly,'

The Scapular

From the late 14th century the brown scapular summed up Carmelite devotion to Mary. The scapular was a part of the Carmelite habit and probably originally served as an apron. There were various legends connected to religious habits in general in medieval times. Apparitions of the founder of the particular order or of Our Lady were frequently involved. It was related that Our Lady had appeared to Simon Stock, the Prior General of the Carmelites, in the year 1251,

Our Lady as Model

The liturgical devotion to Mary among the Carmelites affected how they understood their vocation. In 1287 at the General Chapter held in Montpellier, France, it was decided that the cloak which the Carmelites wore be changed from the original striped mantle to a pure white cloak. This was understood as a symbol of the virginity of Mary. One of the favourite titles for Mary among medieval Carmelites was "Most Pure Virgin".

Liturgical Devotion

Carmelites honoured Mary especially in the liturgy." Until the debate at Cambridge, the Carmelites had celebrated an ordinary commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This mass was often held weekly and it was to thank Mary for her continued protection of the Order. After the victory at Cambridge, the Solemn Commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was instituted. It was felt that Our Lady had made sure that the Order

Mary, Mother of Carmel: Our Model of Faith

The first disciple

Mary is God's mother and our mother, too — mother of all Christians, mother of Carmel. But she is also a disciple of her Son. Paul VI, for example, speaks of Mary as the first disciple. This marks a renewed approach to the mystery of Mary in relation to her Son — 'she was the first and the most perfect of Christ's disciples,' he tells us. And his words are echoed by one of his successors,

A Letter for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Dear brothers and sisters in the Carmelite Family,

The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is approaching. As we do every year, we are now getting ready to celebrate joyfully this feast which is so important for the worldwide Carmelite Family. In different places, with a variety of religious events, we will honour the woman that we call, “Mother and Ornament of Carmel”. Processions, novenas, the giving of the Scapular, devotions,



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."