'It seems to me that I have found my Heaven on earth, since Heaven is God, and God is in my soul.'

~ St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Do Carmelites have a special devotion to Our Lady?

Yes. The Discalced Carmelite Nuns are, by calling, members of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and Mary's presence pervades their entire Carmelite vocation. They wear Our Lady's scapular to show that they belong to her in a special way and are determined to clothe themselves with her virtues. St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross present Mary as a model of prayer and self-denial in faith's pilgrimage, who humbly and wisely welcomed the Lord's word and pondered it in her heart. She was wholly responsive to the impulses of the Holy Spirit, following Christ faithfully and sharing in the joys and sorrows of His paschal mystery. Our Constitutions record our filial devotion to Mary as follows (No. 55):

Our Lady's window in our chapel

   In Our Lady we contemplate the ideal of the Order lived to perfection. Her example inspires us to follow in her footsteps. She takes the lead among the Lord's poor and little ones. She best exemplifies contemplative life in the Church.
   Every sister will find in Mary a mother and teacher in the ways of the Spirit who will conform her to Christ and lead her to the heights of holiness.

Card Design using picture of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Some Quotations from our Carmelite Saints

"At that time news reached me of the harm being done in France and of the havoc the heretics had caused and how much this miserable sect was growing. The news distressed me greatly, and, as though I could do something or were something, I cried to the Lord and begged Him that I might remedy so much evil. It seemed to me that I would have given a thousand lives to save one soul out of the many that were being lost there. I realized I was a woman and wretched and incapable of doing any of the useful things I desired to do in the service of the Lord. All my longing was and still is that since He has so many enemies and so few friends that these friends be good ones. As a result I resolved to do the little that was in my power; that is, to follow the evangelical counsels as perfectly as I could and strive that these few persons who live here do the same. I did this trusting in the great goodness of God, who never fails to help anyone who is determined to give up everything for Him.... Since we would all be occupied in prayer for those who are the defenders of the Church and for preachers and for learned men who protect her from attack, we could help as much as possible this Lord of mine who is so roughly treated by those for whom He has done so much good; it seems these traitors would want Him to be crucified again and that He have no place to lay His head.

"O my Sisters in Christ, help me beg these things of the Lord. This is why He has gathered you together here. This is your vocation. These must be the business matters you're engaged in. These must be the things you desire, the things you weep about; these must be the objects of your petitions - not, my Sisters, the business matters of the world.... The world is all in flames; they want to sentence Christ again, so to speak, since they raise a thousand false witnesses against Him; they want to ravage His Church - and are we to waste time asking for things that if God were to give them we'd have one soul less in heaven?"

~ Our Holy Mother, St. Teresa of Jesus, The Way of Perfection 1:2,

St. Teresa of Jesus
Close-up of Crucifix in our garden

"A Carmelite, my darling, is a soul who has gazed on the Crucified, who has seen Him offering Himself to His Father as a Victim for souls and, recollecting herself in this great vision of the charity of Christ, has understood the passionate love of His soul, and has wanted to give herself as He did! And on the mountain of Carmel, in silence, in solitude, in prayer that never ends, for it continues through everything, the Carmelite already lives as if in Heaven: 'by God alone.'"

~ St. Elizabeth of the Trinity L133

  

 To read more, please click here.

Please click here to read the story of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face written by a Secular Carmelite with children specially in mind.

 

Our blog page is another source of information about our Carmelite saints and their writings.