Carmel is all Mary’s. From the beginning, Carmelites have had a special devotion to the Mother of God. She has always been the patroness and protectress of the order. Carmelites were first known as “the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel,” and these “brothers” felt a special bond with Mary their “Sister” whose virginity they esteemed and imitated. Carmelites identify a type of Mary even in the life of Elijah. Like the small cloud rising from the sea which precedes a heavy rain that will bring an end to drought (1 Kings 18:44) , Mary gives to us her Son Who showers thirsting humanity with His grace and restores us to life.
Carmelites always keep before the eyes of their heart Our Lady, model of the Carmelite life par excellence. In solitude, silence, and recollection she kept the home of Joseph and Jesus in Nazareth. As the one who first “pondered these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51), she stands forth as the perfect model of contemplation. At the wedding feast at Cana, we see her solicitude for souls and her desire that the glory of her Son be revealed. It is Mary who guides the Carmelite to the perfect knowledge and imitation of her Son and to the attainment of all desire…union with God.