Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel, which juts out into the Mediterranean near Haifa, Israel, has been considered a sacred place since the prophet Elijah built an altar there in his contest with the prophets of Baal. The Carmel headland is traditionally associated with the beginnings of the Carmelite order around 1195, when a group of lay hermits formed a community there. Mary had been honored there as early as the fifth century, and by the 12th century Mount Carmel had become a site of Marian devotion. The Carmelites chose Mary as their protectress and dedicated their oratory on Mount Carmel to her. Our Ladfy of Mount Carmel is the patron of Bolivia and Chile. This Marian feast became an optional memorial in the Revised Roman Calendar of 1969.
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.” (for more information visit www.ocarm.org)
Well-known Carmelites include St. Teresa of Avilia, St John of the Cross and St Therese of Lisieux – all of whom were powerhouses of spiritual writing.
To learn about the Third Order of Lay Carmelites, whose home is here at St. Francis, contact Ellen and Mike Lobasso at 631-486-2155 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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