Monday, September 25, 2017

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Letter of the Prior General on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

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By Fr. Fernando Millán, O.Carm.

Dear brothers and sisters in the extended Carmelite Family throughout the world, the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is approaching. In many places there will be novenas, processions, and other ways of honouring Mary, our Mother and Sister under this title, which is so much at the heart of Carmelite life.

On the 16th of July the whole Carmelite Family feels united around the feast of Mary and celebrates joyfully the motherly protection that comes from the Mother of all Carmelites. That is why I would like, first of all, to share some of that joy with you, and encourage you to continue journeying under the sure guidance of the one we invoke with the title, Star of the Sea.

The Carmelite scapular (the humble sign of our devotion and our consecration to Mary) is used in many places as a emblem and a reminder of our Carmelite identity, our consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and her gentle and tender protection for all of us. As a sign it identifies us and brings us together. The people in their simplicity have known how to capture the power and the significance of this tiny sacramental and they show it off with great pride during this period of Carmelite festivity.

As Carmelites we know that the Feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel is not only a matter of sentimental or fleeting devotion, but something that makes us think about our vocation, identity and mission. From the very beginning there has been a feeling in Carmel of being united with the Mother of God, in the way that she was seen as the domina loci, and the way in which the order entrusted all its hopes, dreams and projects to her protection. Now, many centuries later, we too continue to place in her hands all our missions (especially in places where there is violence or extreme poverty), our pastoral plans, our communities and our hopes. We ask her to give us fidelity, wisdom and generosity in order to be able to draw on our charism and respond to the challenges, both great and small, that the Church and our society have to face today.

May Mary, our Mother, help us each day to be more like brothers and sisters to one and another, more at one in solidarity, more compassionate and more present to the men and women of our times.

I wish you well and embrace each one.

Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm.

Prior General

Posted in: Saints of Carmel

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