Age, race, language, political point of view, or culture are not what unite us as Carmelites, but rather the desire to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is a desire to be of service to others, especially the poor, and to fulfill in this way the will of God. We do this within the Carmelite Family by living in accordance with the ideal that is proposes in its Rule, its mystical tradition and in the lives of its men and women.
At the beginning of the 13th century, the first Carmelites lived around the spring of Elijah on Mount Carmel. There they meditated "day and night on the law of the Lord" and kept "vigil in prayer" (Rule of St. Albert, 10) There they discovered the "inner spring" that wells up for eternal life.
In 1238, the Carmelites left Mount Carmel and traveled to Europe, taking with them the Rule of Saint Albert. The Rule has continued to be our guide until the present day. As a Carmelite Family, we gather around this "inner spring" to drink its water, and satisfy our thirst for God, Community, and Justice.
Three words define our mission. Prayer by which we remain in contact with God; Community that creates a new way of living among us; Justice that leads us to defend the values of human life for every human being.
Thousands, throughout the world, brothers and sisters, religious and
lay, belonging to different Orders and Congregations, movements and
associations, countless people are devoted to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Some Perspectives on the Carmelites and the Carmelite NGO:
GOD OF OUR CONTEMPLATION
The logo for the Carmelite NGO incorporates the shield of
the Carmelite Order and the Jerusalem Cross in the center
of a circle. The Carmelite shield contains a
representation of Mount Carmel, where the Order was
founded in the 12th century. The three stars represent
three principle figures of inspiration to the members of
the Order, Elijah and Elisha (prophetic figures for the
Old Testament of the Bible) and Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
The Jerusalem Cross recalls that the Carmelites were
founded in the Holy Land, specifically on the range of
mountains called Mount Carmel near the modern port
city of Haifa.
The ring on the outside of the logo contains the words "Prayer, Community, Prophetic Mission" which captures the life and work of the Carmelites in our modern world.
On the bottom portion of the ring are the words "Carmelite NGO" which is the common name of our Non Governmental Organization.