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Mary, Mother of Carmel

First of all, the Carmelites developed a keen sense of their Order's belonging totally to Mary, and of its having grown under the loving gaze of Mary right from the beginning. These first hermits on Mt. Carmel built a chapel in the midst of their living space for their daily celebration of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. In choosing a patron for this chapel, they turned to the Blessed Virgin Mary, honoring her as the "Lady of the Place," according to the feudal mentality of the time. They named her the patroness and protector of their community. They named themselves the "Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary," and lived under this title. All of Carmel came to be seen as the area of the uncontested dominion of Mary, the Lady of Carmel. Everything good and beautiful in the Order and in its prayers and good works was attributed to this loving patronage of Mary. She was the Queen and Beauty of Carmel, through whom Carmelites gave praise and honor to Christ, the Lord to whom they pledged allegiance.

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