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Saints of Carmel

+Mary, Mother of Carmel

Sharing completely in the spiritual heritage of the Carmelite Order, we, the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus, have as our primary patron Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose devotion is connected with the roots of the Carmelite Order. In the thirteenth century, crusaders, fighting to free the Holy Land from Turkish control, realized at the foot of Mount Carmel that the first and constant battle for the Church is spiritual. Laying their arms and armor at the foot of the mountain, they ascended it to live a life of prayer, solitude, and apostolic zeal. They followed in spirit of the Prophet Elijah, who, on that very mountain a millennia before, not only defeated the enemies of God, and returned the people of Israel to worship of the one true God, but also, as tradition tells us, revered the women who would one day be the future mother of the God. These former crusaders first called themselves the Brothers of our Lady of Mount Carmel, for they loved and served Mary with all the chivalry in their hearts as their Queen and Sister. As Jesus disciples, they wanted to love Mary with the same filial affection Jesus did during His life on earth. They also consecrated themselves to Our Lady and sought to imitate Mary as their ideal of the one who lived silence, solitude, poverty, and especially close intimacy with Jesus.

Not only is Mary Queen of Carmel, but also the Beauty and Flower of Carmel, the Flos Carmeli. In Mary's perfect yes, the Church sees itself brought to perfection. Her splendid purity and loving humility adorn the Church in the eyes of her Divine Spouse. So Mary gives her own beauty to the order of Carmel. Carmelites rely on Mary, their Mother, to bestow on them her own virtue and merit. By her scapular, Mary clothes her children in Carmel with her very self.

Mother Mary Teresa of St. Joseph, Foundress of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus, said, "Would that all were children of this most loving and lovable Mother, and esteem amd love her as such! I regard everyone, no matter of what class, or race, or nation, who does not have the Mother of God as his Mother, as being a motherless orphan."

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