The Carmelites and the Immaculate Conception:
Love for the Pure Virgin Mary inspired the first Carmelites to dedicate to her their first chapel on Mt. Carmel, and in their devotion to her, they celebrated with due honor all her feast days and defended all her prerogatives with great fervor. They were among the early proponents of her purity long before the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was officially proclaimed in 1854.
In 1306 the Conception of Mary was introduced into the Carmelite liturgical calendar as their patronal feast. Fourteenth century theologians were staunch defenders of the dogma, while in the 16th and 17th centuries, certain provinces in the Order added formulae to their vows promising to promote, even with their blood, this Marian privilege. Thus, with characteristic zeal, for eight centuries, whether in their liturgy or legislation, their art or articulations, the sons of the Most Pure Virgin unceasingly praised the spotless beauty of their Immaculate Mother.
Next Month: The Little Cloud