What is Carmelite life? One possible definition comes from the formula of profession for the Discalced Carmelite Friars: life with Mary in allegiance to Jesus Christ. Our Lady plays a central role in the life of a Carmelite. The official name of the order puts Mary at the center: the Discalced Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The patronage of Our Lady of Mount Carmel came into existence when the first hermits on Mount Carmel dedicated their shared chapel to Our Lady. In the early thirteenth century, pilgrims traveling in the Holy Land came to hear about the Oratory of Our Lady on Mount Carmel and the hermits who lived there. Having been made the patroness of their oratory, Our Lady had a pivotal role in bringing the hermits together each day for participation in the Mass. Both spiritually and practically, Mary brings her Carmelite brothers and sisters to her son in the Blessed Sacrament. Since the Mass is the representation of the Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary, Our Lady brings her Carmelite brothers and sisters to the foot of the cross.
About the Author: Fr. Pier Giorgio of Christ the King, OCD
Fr. Pier Giorgio became a Discalced Carmelite friar for the Washington Province in 2014. He was solemnly professed in 2020 and ordained a priest in July 2021. He is the managing editor for the Institute of Carmelite Studies Publications. He completed his master’s in sacred theology in 2019 at the Catholic University of America and is currently pursuing a master's degree in comparative literature and translation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.