The Spirituality of the Carmelites

of the Ancient Observance

A summary of the lectures given by

Bl. Titus Brandsma

in the U.S. in 1936

(Translation of the article "Carmes" in the Dictionnaire de Spiritualité,

fasc. VII, col. 156-171.)

1) Antiquity of the Carmelite School.

St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross had no other goal than to restore to the Order of Carmel its ancient spirit; they are not the founders of the Carmelite school of spirituality but are nevertheless its restorers and most brilliant lights. Their glory will not be diminished if the radiance which this school produced before their reform is shown. Far from being opposed to the first centuries of the Order, they often went there to seek examples. St. Theresa recommends the poverty of the early fathers to her daughters; the memory of the hardships they endured in solitude should encourage Carmelites to bear theirs patiently - "the little illnesses of mischievous women." Still more explicitly the Saint writes: "... All of us who wear this holy habit of Carmel are called to prayer and contemplation; this was our original institution, we belong to the race of those holy Fathers of Mount Carmel, who in such deep solitude and complete renunciation of the world, sought the treasure, the precious pearl of which we speak." M. L. Van den Bossche has written correctly that St. Theresa added a psychological finesse to the primitive foundation of Carmel.

2) Primitive and Fundamental Elements.

From its beginning, the Order of Carmel has the remarkable privilege of having drawn its spirituality from two sources - the imitation of Elijah and the veneration of the Blessed Virgin. Imitation of Elijah As its name indicates, the Order of Carmelites took its origin in Palestine on the mountain famous from the Old Testament for the sacrifice of Elijah and for the grotto where the Prophet retired when he had accomplished his missions near Israel: "From there he went to Mount Carmel" (2 Kgs 2: 25). Ancient inscriptions, from long before the Crusades, bear witness that Byzantine Christians venerated the Prophet in the very place where, according to legend, the School of the Prophets had been located - El Chader, at the foot of the mountain on the side by the sea. The rule states explicitly that the hermits were assembled near the fountain of Elijah higher up on the mountain. An itinerary from the beginning of the 13th century makes a distinction between "the Latin hermits who are called Brothers of Carmel" living near the "wadi ain es-Siah," the fountain of Elijah; and "the hermits of Carmel" who live near El-Chader, the School of the Prophets. Many others itineraries confirm this testimony and bear witness to the veneration given the Prophet Elijah on Carmel. Benjamin de Tudela, who visited the Holy Places in 1163, relates that two sons of Edom (thus he designates Aymeric and Berthold) built a chapel in honor of the Prophet near the Grotto of Elijah. The monk John Phocas, who journeyed to Palestine about 1177, says that some years previously a monk, originally from Calabria, had raised the monastery of Carmel on its ruins and that he lived there with ten companions; as a result of a revelation, he established himself and built a chapel there. Further confirmation of these facts is given by Jacques de Vitry who relates that several Crusaders led a solitary life "in narrow cells after the example and in imitation of the saintly solitary who was the Prophet Elijah, like bees of the Lord gathering into their hive the honey of spiritual sweetness." The authenticity of some documents pertaining to the early history of the Carmelites can be debated, but from clearly authentic works, it appears even to those who reject many other traditions of the Order; that the spiritual life of Carmel is completely impregnated with the spirit of Elijah and that imitation of the Prophet has given the Carmelite school its special stamp. The Abbot Trithemius (1516) was correct therefore in writing: "Although it was not he who gave them a rule in writing, Elijah was nevertheless the example and model for the holy life of the Carmelites." To prove this, it is not necessary to demonstrate historically an uninterrupted succession of hermits on Carmel imitating Elijah up to the time of the Crusades. It is sufficient that the hermits of 1155 chose the Prophet as their model and that contemporary evidence makes the fact of this imitation certain.

Veneration of the Virgin.

We must note as a very remarkable circumstance of the foundation of the Order that the first hermits assembled around a chapel dedicated to the Virgin, "Saint Mary of Mt. Carmel." This is the origin of their name; at once they were called "Brothers of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel." Nomen fuit omen. From the very beginning, by a particular design of Providence, the new Order received its other character, a very special devotion to the Blessed Virgin. The legend in the breviary relates that Saint Brocard, second Prior General, when dying said to his brethren: "We are called the Brothers of Our Lady. Take care to make yourselves worthy of this beautiful name." Les Pelerinages por aler en Jherosalem (1220) and also Les Chemins et les Pelerinages de la Terre Saint (before 1265) mention this "little church of Our Lady." The Descriptio Terrae Sanctae by a certain Philippin (1263-1291), edited by W. A. Neumann, expressly designates it "Monasterium S. Mariae Carmeli. It is with good reason also that in 1282 Peter Emilien, the Prior General, wrote to Edward I of England that he would pray for him "to the Savior and to the aforesaid glorious Virgin for whose honor and glory the Order was specially instituted beyond the seas." The General Chapter of Montpellier (1287) expressed the same thing. In 1311 King Edward II of England wrote to Pope Clement V that he was particularly attached to the Carmelites because they were founded in honor of Mary; Clement V's opinion was the same. One of the most celebrated writers of the Order, John Baconthorpe, wrote of the Virgin at this time, commenting on "Your head is like Carmel:" "And since she is honored, and appreciated by Carmel, it is fitting, that on Carmel which was given to her; she should have Carmelites to venerate her in a special way. This is how it was from of old." The same author in his Expositio analogica Regulae Carmelitanae describes the Carmelite life as an imitation of Mary. It would be easy to multiply the evidence. But it is sufficient to add that the Carmelites, called by the people "Brothers of Our Lady," received as their official designation the title "Brothers of the Bl. V. Mary of Mt. Carmel," to which Popes and Bishops attached indulgences. The Devotion of the Scapular, Mary's habit, contributed partially to the Carmelites' becoming known as the Brothers of the Virgin. This double ideal forms the first article of the oldest constitutions preserved for us, those of the General Chapter of Barcelona (1324). Here we read that from the times of the holy Prophets, Elijah and Elisha, devout hermits lived continuously on Mt. Carmel, sought this holy mountain and loved its solitude in order to give their minds over to the contemplation of heavenly things; they built a chapel here in honor of the Virgin and thus deserved to be called the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a name recognized by Popes. St. Albert gave them a rule which was approved. The Carmelites are imitators and successors of these hermits. Thus from its origin, the two specific elements of Carmel's spirituality have been imitation of Elijah and veneration of the Blessed Virgin. The Carmelites have always been mindful that they should imitate these two models, Elijah and Mary. They are the Sons of Elijah and the Brothers of Mary. From here also Carmel's mystical orientation proceeds.

3) Special vocation to the mystical life.

In 1370 the Spanish Carmelite, Philip Riboti, assembled some documents on the origins of the Order, in which the mystical vocation of its members is particularly affirmed. The authenticity of these documents has given place to very serious debate, but also to important defence. The collection contains the Institutio primorum monachorum, attributed to John XLIV, Patriarch of Jerusalem; a letter from about 1235 by Saint Cyril of Constantinople, third Prior General; and finally, the Chronicle of William of Sanvico, the author of which was one of the last to flee from Mount Carmel in 1291 at the time of the general massacre by the Turks and who assisted at the General Chapter of Montpellier (1287) in the capacity of definitor of the Holy Land. Should they be of the 14th century only-which is by no means proved-these documents would still furnish us with very precious information about Carmelite Spirituality and what was regarded in the middle of the 14th century as the mystical tradition of Carmel and its ideal. According to the testimony of the Dominican, Stephen of Salagnac, in the second half of the 13th century, the Institutio, even as apocryphal, remains a traditional paraphrase of the rule of life created by the Patriarch Aymeric of Malafay in 1156 to which allusion is made in the prologue of the Rule of 1205. The Institutio describes the spiritual life of the hermits of Carmel and indicates clearly the double goal of the Order, and affirms consequently from the beginning its members' arrival at mystical graces if they are faithful to their rule and if God judges it opportune. "This life," says the Institutio (Ch. 2), "has a double goal; we acquire the first by our virtuous labor and effort with the help of divine grace. It consists in offering to God a holy heart, free of all stain of sin. We attain this end when we are perfect and in Carith, which is to say, hidden in charity... The other goal of this life is communicated to us by a pure gift of God; I mean not only after death, but even in this mortal life, to taste in some way in one's heart and to experience in one's spirit the power of the divine presence and the sweetness of glory from on high. This is called drinking from the torrent of God's pleasures." Not only the purgative way and the illuminative way, but even the unitive way and infused contemplation are clearly proposed as the end to be attained, the goal to be pursued, the ideal to be realized; but still this union and participation in the heavenly life are declared at the same time to be a "pure gift of God." Never in any Order; to my knowledge, has a book furnishing a norm of life and declaring the end toward which its members should strive, enunciated the vocation to the mystical life in so formal a manner. This double end is the "double spirit" asked by Elisha for his disciples and the imitators of Elijah. Occasionally this double spirit is interpreted as the double portion of the firstborn or as the union of the active and contemplative life. But more generally it is admitted that it pertains to active contemplation which the divine Goodness crowns with passive contemplation.

4) Proper ideas on the mixed life.

The rule, which places the summit of the spiritual life in active and passive contemplation, has a concept of the mixed life which difters from that of the Thomistic School. The latter sums up its ideal in this formula-contemplata alus tradere; to crown the contemplative life with the active life is the highest perfection for St. Thomas and the Dominicans. For Carmel, it would be rather complete dedication to contemplation; it should be interrupted only because of necessity-when there is need to go to men and speak to them of God. Only charity toward one's neighbor or obedience can be reasons for leaving God for the sake of God. "Deum propter Deum relinquere." As the rule prescribes: "To meditate on the law of the Lord day and night, watching in prayer, unless occupied with other justified tasks." The words of Our Lord about Mary Magdalen, which the Church applies to the Blessed Virgin on the feast of the Assumption, have been applied to Order of Carmel: "Mary has chosen the better part and it shall not be taken from her." For the Carmelite, contemplation is "the better part. This difference in concept is felt very little in practice; the Carmelites took into account the necessity of interrupting their contemplation for the care of souls, and the Popes have called upon them for preaching, missions, and numerous apostolic works. Love of neighbor and submission to the head of the Church have constrained them to undertake the mixed life; also to give to others the fruit of their contemplation, but this ideal has been imposed upon them by circumstances. The Order has always sought to preserve its proper ideal for as many of its sons as possible; it asks them to return with the greatest haste as soon as their exterior duties are accomplished to what is the direct and primary object of their calling. Nicholas the Frenchman, seventh Prior General (1265-1271), who relinquished his office for solitude, characterises this primitive orientation well: "Conscious of their imperfection, the hermits of Carmel persevered in solitude for a long time. But since they aspired to be of use to their neighbor so as not to be culpable in their regard, they sometimes, although rarely, descended from their hermitage. They went to tread on the threshing floor of preaching and to sow with generous hand what they had reaped with delight in the desert with the sickle of contemplation."

5) Contemplation remains "the better part."

This orientation has not changed. In the middle of the 13th century when the Carmelites passed over into Europe and took their place among the Mendicant Orders, they received from the Popes a more marked tendency toward the active life. St. Simon Stock, Prior General, then did his utmost to protect the contemplative ideal as well as he could. On this point the rule underwent no modification, when at the request of the Saint, Innocent IV adapted it to the new living conditions of the Carmelites. These, it must be recognized, were a serious danger to the contemplative life, and many religious no doubt were given over to the active life very much. Two successors of St. Simon Stock regretted that the Friars could no longer enjoy the delights of contemplation. The first, Nicholas the Frenchman, in a severe letter recalls the traditions and vocation of the Order in emphatic terms; this letter, destined to kindle in the hearts of Carmelites the living flame of love for the heavenly things promised and given in contemplation, is entitled Ignea sagitta, the Flaming Arrow. Adding example to his words, the Prior General after ruling for six years resigned and retired to a hermitage. Ralph the German, his successor; was in office no more than three years when he too went to seek solitude in the English hermitage at Hulne, near Alnwick. If this sublime ideal was not followed in the whole Order with the same ardor; this double withdrawal clearly show that the tradition had not been for otten by the highest authority. That there were others to follow the example of the Priors General is testified to by the Acts of the General Chapter of Montpellier (1287) where different measures were taken to maintain "the citadel of contemplation" in the Order.

6) Special love of solitude.

Although the necessities of the apostolate had turned the Order to an ever more active life, the custom of establishing new convents in solitude was maintained during the first centuries according to the rule, until it was permitted to choose other sites when there was need. In 1254 the Friars refused the house which St. Louis offered them in the center of Paris and preferred the one which the King gave them outside the city. A decree of John XXII ordained that ten convents be transferred to cities so that the Carmelites might occupy themselves with the care of souls the more easily. In the beginning of the 14th century, John Baconthorpe, the greatest scientific authority in the Order at that time, vindicated foundations in solitude; he exahed meditation in the cell with the example of the Virgin, who by her prayers in the seclusion of Nazareth deserved to conceive the Son of God. We have proof that these solitary convents, asylums of contemplation, continued; in the life of St. Andrew Corsini, bishop of Fiesole (+1366), for example, it was to a house of this kind that he retired for his First Mass and obtained his first mystical grace, a vision of the Blessed Virgin. Blessed Angelus Augustine Mazzinghi (+1438) founded hermitages in the following century and the reform which he inaugurated had no other purpose than to remind the Order of its mystical glory. Not only the rule, but all the constitutions recommend solitude; the cell is a sanctuary where each one lives with God and ascends to him. No province is complete or prosperous without "deserts," even under the mitigated rule. That is why solitude for the Carmelite is the expression of detachment from the world and nearness to God. Poverty moreover has a significance which differs from the meaning that the Franciscans, for example, attach to it; while the Friars Minor regard it especially as an imitation of Christ and opposition to the world, the Carmelites view it principally as a consequence of their adherence to God in contemplation of heavenly things. To neglect it is a sign that one is less united to God and prefers inferior occupations. In the pursuit of contemplation, poverty is intimately joined to solitude; "How sordid the world becomes for me when I gaze at the heavens."

7) Practice of the Presence of God.

Inspired by the words of the Prophet Elijah, "The Lord lives, in whose sight I stand," the Institutio attaches special importance to the practice of the presence of God. This practice is a very efficacious means of 1iving with God and meditating on his law "day and night,' as the rule prescribes. Devotion to the Holy Face of Our Lord is one of the original forms of the prayers and daily occupations of the monks being performed in his sight. Among other evidence of this practice, let us point out the images of the Holy Face in the churches of Mayence and Frankfort-on-the-Main painted on the arches of the presbytery and surrounded by texts which recall the presence of God. Brother Laurence of the Resurrection (+1691) was therefore well within the framework of Carmelite tradition when he wrote Le Practique de la Presence de Dieu, translated into several languages and famous throughout the whole world. St. Therese of the Child Jesus revived this devotion. Paintings of the Holy Face are found in many Carmels.

8) Adoration and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament

In speaking of the Carmelites' tender devotion to the Sacrament of the Altar; it goes without saying that we do not wish to imply that it is peculiar to them, but only to point out some of the remarkable aspects of it. They have always seen a symbol of the Sacred Host in the wonderful food which the angel pointed out to Elijah and which strengthened the Prophet in such a way that he was able to cross the desert and reach Mount Horeb. The Eucharist is the power which permits them to arrive at contemplation. The rule already prescribed daily assistance at Mass and the construction of an Oratory in the middle of the cells. The history of the Order furnishes admirable models of this devotion. St. Peter Thomas (d. 1365) -- Procurator General at the time of the Avignon Popes, Patriarch of Constantinople, Apostolic Delegate of Pope Clement VI for the East at the time of the crusade against Alexandria-was not hindered by the many occupations of a busy life from spending several hours each night before the Blessed Sacrament; oftentimes he was found there lost in adoration. Blessed John Soreth, Prior General (d. 1471) and great reformer of the Carmelites of the 15th century, his life imperiled, grasped the Blessed Sacrament from the hands of sacrilegious men and rescued it from a burning church. At the end of the same century, Blessed Bartholomew Fan ti, the Master of Novices at Mantua who counted Blessed Baptist Spagnoli among his disciples, taught his novices that one cannot be a good Carmelite without special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament: he cured the sick with the oil from the sanctury lamp. What determined St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi to enter the Carmel of Florence was the practice of daily communion observed in this convent-a thing rare for the times. The Carmelites are rightly numbered among the mendicant orders, for their constitutions demand the greatest simplicity in their monasteries; but for their churches and the cult of the Eucharist grandeur was always permitted. The documents establishing several houses give as the reason for foundation the desire of assuring splendor for the liturgical ceremonies. In Carmelite Churches, the scene of Elijah in the desert represented in painting or sculpture is traditional.



9) Chivalric ideal echoed.

By the formulas in which it is expressed in the rule, Carmelite spirituality preserves the echo of the chivalric ideal of the crusaders who established it, almost in the same way in which the Exercises of St. Ignatius retain in their wording something of the military ideal of the Knights of Pamplona. Elijah was venerated as the daring champion of Gods cause: "I am burnt up with zeal for the Lord God of Hosts." Six pieces of spiritual armor are described there; the cincture is the symbol of purity, indispensable for one who desires to reach the holy mountain of the vision of God: "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God." The corselet which protects the vital parts of the body represents good thoughts: "Holy thoughts will protect you. The breastplate which covers the whole body represents justice, a well regulated life, the observance of the commandments and duties of daily life. The shield is faith; for a living faith is the best safeguard for the spiritual life. The helmet symbolizes hope, confidence in God, which gives us the right to walk with freedom and confidence. Finally, the sword indicates conversation with God which as a double edge blade comes to our aid and defends us in all our difticulties.

10) Harmonius middle course between infused and acquired contemplation.

According to the ancient tradition expressed in the Institutio, the Carmelites admitted that man can strive for mystical graces and arrive at the presence of God; the religious of the Order are called to this height by special vocation. Elijah, strengthened by heavenly food, arrived at the vision of God during this life. Strengthened by the Eucharist, the Carmelite crossing the desert of this life does his utmost to attain the Horeb of contemplation. Although the task is arduous, their ambition is to follow their father. To realize this ideal is impossible without a free gift of God. But that is nothing else than a reason for esteeming their vocation and that of the entire Order; an exhortation to turn every obstacle aside which would make them unworthy of God's designs for them. The ancient constitutions, as also the most esteemed writers of the Order; such as John Bacon thorpe and John of Hildesheim, are in perfect agreement with the Institutio on this point. The great diffusion of the Institutio, which was regarded as the manual of Carmelite spiritual life, proves that at the outset of the 14th century at least, the Carmelites considered their religious life as a constant practice of virtue and a preparation for the mystical graces which are its crown. But far from becoming proud because of this sublime vocation, they built their spiritual edifice a solid foundation of humility, being filled with admiration for the overflowing Divine Goodness which rewards its chosen ones during life.

11) Intimate relationship between the sensible, intel. lectual, and affective elements of contemplation.

The Dominicans have considered the intellectual as the most important element in contemplation while the Franciscans generally have placed greater importance on the affective and sensible elements. The first insist on vision; the second, especially on seraphic love of which their father was so eloquent a singer. Carmel takes the middle course between the two schools: this includes several disciples and admirers of St. Bernard, but for them the aftections of the heart and the sensible representation of God's mysteries are perfectly united to the consideration of the mind and are intimately joined with intellectual contemplation. Here also are found disciples and admirers of Eckhart, but more ponderous than their master and very ready to combine the most elevated intellectual abstractions with sensible images and very tender love. We have an example of this in the sermons of Henry Hane, who is none other than the Henry de Hanna (d. 1299), who was the faithful helper of St. Simon Stock in spreading the Order in England, the Netherlands, Germany and France. They are preserved in an Oxford manuscript which bears the title Paradisus animae intelligentis, the text of which P. Strauch edited. They contain more than one image found in the works of St. Teresa; the Saint certainly did not know the sermons of Henry Hane, but both of them drew from the same tradition. Hane was influenced by Eckhart but he was on his guard against the too daring expressions of the great Dominican mystic. Sometimes the Carmelite school is called the eclectic school; it would be more correct to say that it takes the middle course between the intellectual and affective schools; this is the reason why it exercised so important an influence on popular devotion, especially in the 15th century. Great St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross were faithful to this tradition of avoiding extremes and harmonizing spiritual life, although St. Teresa leans toward the aftective school and St. John of Cross toward the intellectual; the synthesis of their mysticism, which will remain the glory of Carmel, is a harmonious connecting of the different elements of contemplation we find sketched in the medieval Carmelite school. Another authoritative witness of the school at the beginning of the 14th century is Sibert de Beka, founder of the convent at Gelderen, later provincial of Germany and doctor of Paris, who is famous for his Ordinale Ordinis and for a commentary on the rule. He sees the consummation of the contemplative life in perfect love as long as it is joined to a sweet and savorous of the Goodness of God, a knowledge, moreover; which can only be habitual or implicit. He is therefore also a witness to the harmonious combination of the intellect's action and the will's

12) Decline and Reforms.

The expansion of the Order, the increasing necessities of the apostolate and consequently the prolonged stay of many religious outside the convent contributed to the multiplication of foundations in the center of cities, and caused worldly principles to penetrate into the monastic life. Solitude was practiced less, poverty was weakened; studies themselves were a cause of decadence unfortunately by creating privileges from the regular observance and by exempting the most distinguished members of the Order from the common life. The Western Schism opened the door for mitigations. Yet there remained those who observed the rule, faithful even to sanctity: St. Peter Thomas, of whom we have already spoken, and who was one of the founders of the faculty of theology at Bologna, was a Frenchman from Perigard; St. Andrew Corsini in Italy; in Germany, John of Hildesheim (d. 1375), who in his Historia trium Regum retains the traditions of the Order in such remarkable fashion, and with him, representing the Carmelites of the school of Eckhart, Henry of Hanna; in England, the Carmelite translators of the works of Richard Rolle, the hermit of Hampole. Hermitages were established at this time in England as well as in Italy, which proves that the ancient tradition was not completely forgotten. What is remarkable is that the Order had so much vitality to restore the primitive ideal after a period of decline. Decadence, moreover; is never such that there are not some convents where the primitive rule is kept intact. The reforms which operated for the great benefit of souls here and there in one or another province prevented the Order from losing its initial orientation. At the beginningof the 15th century when the Popes mitigated the rule, a group of Italian convents in the region of Mantua remained faithful to the p rimitive spirit, and approved moreover by Papal authority, were organized into a congregation which would flourish greatly. Along with Bl. Angelus Augustine Mazzinghi, a very renowned preacher who devoted all his free time to solitude and contemplation, we cite among its most illustrious members Bl. Baptist Spagno (d. 1517), the great humanist, six times Vicar-General of the Mantuan Congregation who became Prior General of the entire Order; his neo-classical poems sing the praises of the Virgin and of the saints of the Order, and also of the contemplative life which he tried to maintain with all his strength. Other reforms of the same type were established at Albi (1499) and at Mt. Ohvet(1516). But the most important reformer of all was Bl. John Soreth who was Prior General for twenty years (1451-1471).

13) Mitigation of the rule. Appeal for methodical prayer. Blessed John Soreth.

The mitigation of the rule pertained to two points especially. The first was the restriction of solitude. A less hermitical life was granted to the Carmelites, a life which brought them more into the life of the people. But despite this, the primitive end of the Order was not abandoned; on the contrary, as though the dangers which threatened the spirit of prayer had rendered more lively the consciousness of the Order's destiny and inspired it to take the necessary measures to assure its realization, the new constitutions explicitly recommended contemplation and insisted that a place be made for prayer and contemplation. It is perpetually repeated, "Prayer is the best part for Carmelites;" the Carmelite should guard the contemplative life as a treasure, and the active life should not be an obstacle to it. There is a direct relationship between the reform of Bl. John Soreth who lived ordinarily at Liege and who was an intimate friend of the Duke of Burgundy, and of the pro agators of the Devotio Moderna in the Lowlands. This latter did much to popularize methodical prayer, regular meditation, and a mental prayer more accessible to the greatest number because it utilized the imagination and the sensible memory more. The great Carmelite devotion to Mary was in perfect harmony with the chief spiritual themes of the Devotio Moderna, namely, the Imitation of Christ, and meditation on the life and passion of our Savior. The Carmelites were apostles of the devotion to St. Joseph, St. Anne, St. Joachim, and the Infancy of Jesus and the Holy Face. To facilitate meditation on the mysteries of Christ, several of them wrote itineraries of the Holy Land, in which imagination plays a greater part than reality, but which exercised a considerable influence on piety. It is in one of these itineraries-that of John Pascha (d. 1530), Prior of Malines, Een devote maniere om een gheestelijke Peigrimage te trecken tot den heylighen Lande, Louvain, 1563 -- that we find the most ancient formulas of our present-day Way of the Cross with its fourteen stations. Carmelite poets relate pious legends about the sojourn of the Virgin and the Infant Jesus on Carmel on their return from Egypt. Several saints of the Order are represented with the Infant Jesus in their arms-St. Albert of Sicily (d. 1306), Blessed Joan Scopelli (d. 1491). The Historia trium regum, so widely circulated in the 15th century, contributed to the propagation of devotion to the Infant Jesus. John Soreth was a providential man. His Expositio paranetica in Regu am armejitarum, written in 1455 and entirely animated with the ancient spirit, adapts the life of the Order to the new circumstances. A Frenchman, he underwent the influence of the Victorines and St. Bernard; but, from all evidence, he was won over to the Devotio Moderna and to systematic meditation. For him meditation has a three-fold object: 1) the book of nature in which God teaches us so many mysteries and which we should admire because it reveals God's law to us, the ordinary subject of the Carmelite's consideration according to the rule; 2) the book of Holy Scripture which must be constantly read because it was written for us and contains the law of God; 3) the book of life which God writes for each of us and which will teach us how we should observe God's law. Thus there are three distinct forms of meditation which can, however; be combined. In the exposition of the rule, the insistence on the practice of virtue and the exercise of meditation is remarkable. But what is perhaps more astonishing is the fact that this follower of the Devotio Moderna spoke so remarkably of the vision of God and of mystical graces about which the authors of this school are in general very reserved. Particularly the reading of Holy Scripture, which is the law of God, should fill us with great joy from the fact that God lives in us by his grace, and we are able to progress like giants, carried away beyond our strict obligations by the pure love and joy which is the cause of our election. Prayer is not an oasis in the desert of life: it is our life. During the hours of meditation we prepare the food which maintains it throughout the day's work and renders our prayer continuous. It is to be noted that these developments of methodical meditation serve to explain the following passages of the rule: "To meditate day and night on the law of the Lord and to watch in prayer;" for thus apostolic activity is subordinated to the primary end of the Order which is conversation with God. And so providentially exterior activity proceeds from union with God but should not interrupt it.

14) Abstinence and the mitigation of the rule.

The second point which the mitigation affected was abstinence. The mitigated rule permits the use of meat three or four times a week. This was not such an important deviation from the primitive rule as is sometimes stated. One of the most authoritative commentaries on the rule-that of Sibert de Beka (d. 1333) -- relates that when the Carmelites were transplanted to Europe and sought to adapt the rule to their new needs, before presenting it for the approbation of Pope Innocent IV (1247), and influenced perhaps by the Rule of St. Benedict which promises blessings for those who abstain from wine, they asked if they might no' rather abstain from wine. On this they were in agreement with the writers of the primitive rule who, according to Sibert, always followed the example of the Rechabites and the Essenes, whom they venerated as predecessors and models. The latter did not abstain from meat because they had to partake of the sacrifices in the temple. By virtue of an analogous principle St. Albert, the author of the rule of 1205, prescribed abstinence from meat and not from wine, matter of sacrifices in the New Testament. In 1247 two Dominicans were appointed by Innocent IV to revise the rule, Cardinal Hugh of St. Cher and William, Bishop of Tortose, who decided on abstinence from meat. They likewise admitted the possibility of dispensation. A significant episode! Carmelite spirituality will always insist rather on abstinence in general as a fun- damental of the spiritual life than on the particular form of practicing it.

15) Establishment of the Carmelite nuns under the mitigated rule.

Although in preceeding centuries devout women had sought to enter into intimate contact with this or that house of the Order as recluses who situated their cells near the Carmelite churches, such as Bl. Joan of Toulouse (13th century), it is only in 1453 that the Carmelite nuns were officially founded by Bl. John Soreth with Nicholas V's approbation. The Prior General did not intend to create a new Order; but to confirm the Order's vocation by joining to it a group of members who would be entirely dedicated to its primary end, the contemplative life. The mitigated rule under which he established them was not an obstacle to regular observance, to a poor; solitary life of continuous prayer and union with God. The convent of Couets near Nantes was particularly famous for its good example. Directed in its beginnings by Bl. Frances of Amboise, Duchess of Brittany, whom John Soreth himself admitted to Carmel, it was lived in so fervently after one hundred years of existence that its reputation had reached as far as Spain. No doubt St. Teresa was thinking of Couets when she proposed to leave for a convent in the north in order to live more faithfully according to the traditions of the Order. The new institution soon spread from the Lowlands and the Rhineland to France, Spain and Italy; at Florence, St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi obtained permission to observe the primitive rigor. The foundations of Bl. Soreth are distinguished by a very special love of simplicity, poverty, solitude and prayer. The cloister was less severe than it would be after the Council of Trent; in the Lowlands and in the Rhineland it was stricter; but in Spain, much more relaxed.

16) Affinity of the Carmelite School to Ruysbroeck and the Devotio Moderna.

A circumstance which favored the establishment of the Carmelite nuns was the legation and canonical visttation of Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa in Germany and the Lowlands (1451) in which he decreed that the devout women living in common in several cities but without a definite rule, e.g., the Sisters of the Common Life, should choose an approved rule and unite themselves to an existing Order. A group of women who were under the direction of the Carmelites of Gelderen and living near their church, asked for affiliation to the Order of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. This was the occasion for the Prior General to ask Nicholas V for permission to establish a second order of women with the first order of Friars. It is known that the companion of Cardinal Cusa, Denis the Carthusian of Ruremonde, Capitular of Gelderen, was the author of several treatises on the life of the sisters and on the reform of their convents. These details explain a little the close relationship of the Institute of Carmelite Nuns with the Devotio Moderna. The Charterhouse was a spiritual master for Carmel also. History tells us how much the Carthusians favored Ruysbroeck's mysticism and the spirituality of the Devotio Moderna in general; because of their love for solitude and the contemplative life, they served as an example and a stimulus for the Carmelites who aspired to a more strict observance. The contact between the Carmelite nuns, their spiritual Fathers and the masters of the Devotio Moderna was not merely occasional; it was a matter more of a common spirit. In a very striking way Father Martin, S. J., has demonstrated that the terminology and images of Ruysbroeck and St. Teresa are closely related and sometimes even identified. Above we established some analogous relationships between Bl. John Soreth and the writers of the Devotio Moderna. This is, it seems, an additional and very significant indication of the middle and conciliatory position which the Carmelite school has taken between the different schools.

17) Strict observance under the mitigated tule. Reform of Touraine and John of St. Samson. Aspiration.

The reform of St. Teresa, undertaken with the permission of the Prior General and of the Provincial of the Order; after divers and sudden changes, resulted in the separation of the reformed branch. But this result must be attributed to fortuitous circumstances and not to any formal Opposition. What proves that the Old and New Observances did not live in a spirit of Opposition is the fact that shortly after the Teresian reform a very austere reform was introduced in France under the jurisdiction of the General. In the early years of the 17th century Fathers John Behourt and Philippe Thibault (d. 1638) started a "stricter observance at Rennes in the Carmelite Province of Touraine, of which a blind lay brother; John of St. Samson (d. 1636) was the soul and greatest mystical writer; H. Bremond rightly calls him the St. John of the Cross of the Calced Carmelites. It is remarkable that this reform, inspired by that of St. Teresa no doubt, reclaimed the ancient traditions. In the treatises which the blind mystic dictated, an appeal for the primitive customs of the Order is made, and in a much more explicit way than in the works of the two Spanish mystics. Besides the great historical and spiritual works published during the same century by the Carmelites of the Ancient Observance especially in Belgium-the Speculum Carmelitanum and the Vinea Carmeli of Fr. Daniel of the Virgin Mary, veritable arsenals of ancieni documents, and the Introductio in terram Carmeli by Fr. Michael of St. Augustine (d. 1684) -- we could consult the spiritual works of the mystics of Touraine to instruct ourselves in the spirit and traditions of the Carmelite school. John of St. Samson insists very strongly on the mystical vocation of Carmelites. The active life should not have first place. Recalling that the rule demands a life of prayer; he chooses this prayer-"to be lost in the object of contemplation, God and the things of God." No doubt it is necessary to preach, study and work, but because of the dangers which exterior activity brings, it is necessary for young scholastics to exercise themselves intensely in the principal object of their vocation and establish themselves solidly in the practice of meditation and contemplation. Contemplation is still a pure gift of God; but it is important that we for our part remove all the obstacles and practice the virtues so that we may be found disposed in the way which God demands before giving his mystical favors. In this doctrine, human activity enjoys a considerable part; in its higher degrees, contemplation remains an absolutely gratuitous gift. Thus equilibrium is maintained between the school of acquired contemplation and that of infused contemplation. John is careful to note that perfection does not consist in ecstatic phenomena but in union with God who lives in us. This fire, which burns in us, sets us aflame, and the flame of our love is united to Divine Love which en flames our heart It is necessary that Carmelites understand this vocation and prepare for it. As a means of arriving at the dispositions re quired by God, John counsels a form of prayer which the Francis can Henry Herp especially honored, namely, aspiration. It has four degrees: inhaling God, exhaling God, living in God, living by God. Entirely filled with Goil, we must hunger and thirst for God without ceasing and open our mouth to breathe God. We should start by offering ourselves and every creature to God. As Bl. John Soreth already showed, contemplation by its nature should elevate us to God. But we must not delay in the admiration of the marvels of nature; this is only a step by which we must mount. In view of God's riches, let us ask him to enrich us, for in the measure that he gives himself to us, he renders us unceasingly more like to himself. We should collaborate in his action by uniting ourselves ever more intimately to him; and we should forever rejoice over this union with God. The kingdom of God which is within us-the old comparison of the "the soul's spark "-must be extended without interruption or end by occupying us completely.

18) Two branches of the same trunk.

Looking at Carmel from above, its two branches are united at their summits. Despite the separation which exists on the trunk, the two branches intermingle their foliage and blossoms without our being able to distinguish those which belong to the one from those which belong to the other. The blind singer of Rennes, Ven. John of St. Samson, does not have a different melody from that of the inspired singer imprisoned in the Carmel of Toledo, because both repeat what the Institutio primorum monachorum had inculcated in the Carmelites of the first centuries, namely, that all Carmelites, Brothers and Sisters of the Order of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, in order to be faithful to their vocation should do their very utmost to go, under the guidance of the saintly hermit and prophet Elijah, across the desert of this life up to the Mt. Horeb of the vision of God, strengthened by the heavenly nourishment which is shown on the altar.


The Carmelite Rule

What follows is the Papal Bull Quae honorem conditoris omnium (Whatever is for the honor of the Creator of all) of Pope Innocent IV on October 1, 1247. This letter contains the full text of Carmel's Mitigated Rule. To the prior and brother hermits of Mount Carmel. Everything for the glory of the Creator and the benefit of souls merits support in every way; especially those things in which it is known that the apostolic see has shown particular interest. Through our beloved son Hugh, cardinal priest of St. Sabina, and our venerable brother William, bishop of Antarados, we have your request that certain dubious points of your rule be clarified and corrected and that certain onerous obligations be compassionately changed. All this is revealed in the letter which they (the revisors) composed. By apostolic authority we comply with Carmel's pius desires, confirming the said clarifications, corrections and mitigations. These we support by this present letter. Further we include in verbatim form the revisors' answer to you Carmelites, to wit: Hugh, by mercy of God cardinal priest of St. Sabina, and William, by the same mercy bishop of Antarados offer salutation in him who is the welfare of all his beloved sons in Christ-the religious prior general and definitors of the general chapter of the Order of Brothers of Carmel. Clerics of your Order, Reginald and Peter, approached the apostolic see and humbly requested the pope to clarify and correct certain points of doubt contained in your privilege and change certain onerous elements contained in the rule bestowed upon you by the late Albert, patriarch of Jerusalem. In response to your devout requests the pope entrusted to us the work of making clarification, correction and mitigation in his name-keeping in mind the best interests of your Order and the welfare of your brothers. By the authority communicated to us we therefore command your Order to receive devoutly and to observe dutifully the rule as corrected, clarified and mitigated as it appeared to us appropriate. Also (we command you) to correct other copies of your rule in accord with this final draft which we forward to you under our seals through your brothers.


Daily Life

The life of a Carmelite is somewhat different according to the branch of the order to which he belongs, and the house in which he lives. The life in a novitiate, for instance, is different even for those who have taken their vows, from that in a college, or in a convent intended for the care of souls. It is also stricter among the Discalced Carmelites, who keep perpetual abstinence (except in the case of weakness or illness) and who rise in the night for the recitation of the Divine Office, then among the Calced Carmelites, who have adapted their rule to the needs of the times. Formerly the whole Office was sung every day, but when in the sixteenth century the exercise of mental prayer became more and more universal, particularly through the influence of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross, the singing was abandoned for a recitation in monotone except on certain feasts. The Calced Carmelites still adhere to the liturgy of the church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, a Gallo-Roman Rite, practically identical with that of Paris in the middle of the twelfth century. It underwent certain changes during the Middle Ages and was completely and satisfactorily revised in 1584. The Discalced Carmelites, for reasons already stated, adopted the new Roman Liturgy in 1586. In all convents a certain time is given to mental prayer, both in the morning and the afternoon. It is generally made in common, in the choir or oratory, and is intended to impress the soul with the presence of God and the everlasting truths. Other religious exercises and private devotions supplement those already mentioned. The rule of fasting, somewhat less severe among the Calced Carmelites, is preserved everywhere, although the church has in many respects mitigated her legislation in this matter. The Discalced Carmelites (Teresians) are generally barefooted; otherwise the only distinction in the habit of the two branches consists in the fashioning of the various garments. The habit of the lay brothers is like that of the choir religious, except that among the Discalced Carmelites they wear a brown mantle and no hood; but in the Spanish congregation they use the hood, and, since 1744, a white mantle. The correct colour of the habit has often been made the subject of somewhat animated discussions among the different branches of the order.


Desert Convents

A peculiar institution is that of "deserts". The recollection of Mount Carmel and the purely contemplative life, as well as the wording of the rule, which prescribes that the brothers should dwell in their cells or near them, meditating day and night on the Law of the Lord, except when other necessary occupation call them away, had awakened in many a desire for an exclusively spiritual life. It has been noticed that some of the first generals resigned their offices in order to dedicate the remainder of their life to contemplation, and in the constitutions and other documents exceptions are sometimes made in favour of convents "situated in forests", far away from human habitations. Among such convents were, to mention only two, Hulne in England and Liedekerke in the Netherlands. One of the first Discalced Carmelites in Spain, Thomas of Jesus, who has already been mentioned in connection with the missions, conceived the idea of founding a "desert" where the religious should find the opportunity for devoting their whole time and energy to the cultivation of a spirit of contemplation. With the exception of four or five who were to remain there permanently, each friar was to spend but a year in the "desert", and afterwards return to the convent whence he had come, so that, the whole community being composed of strong and healthy members, no relaxation however slight should become necessary. After some hesitation the superiors took up the idea, and a suitable site having been found, the first "desert" was inaugurated 28 June, 1592, at Bolarque, on the banks of the Tagus in New Castile. The result was so encouraging that it was decided to found such a house in every province, so that there have been altogether twenty-two "deserts", many of which, however, have been swept away during periods of political agitation. They were constructed after the manner of a charterhouse, but on a smaller scale. A number of cells, each forming a little house of four rooms with a garden attached, were built in the shape of a quadrangle, one wing of which contained the chapel, sacristy, library, etc. In the older "deserts" the chapel was placed in the centre of the quadrangle. The refectory, kitchen, robbery and other dependencies were connected with the principal cloister; all the buildings were plain, imposing on account of their austerity than their ornamental character. The manner of life, too, resembles that of the Carthusians, (NOTE: LINK WORD CARTHUSIANS TO PROPER ARTICLE "CARTHUSIAN ORDER, THE" :) but is far more severe. The chant of the Divine Order is more solemn than in other convents; more time is devoted to mental prayer; the fast is extremely strict, the silence all but uninterrupted; only once a fortnight the hermits after the manner of the ancient anchorites, assemble for a conference on some spiritual subject; many volumes of such conferences are still preserved and some have been printed. An hour's social intercourse follows the conference. The time not devoted to prayer and reading is spent in manual labour, the religious finding occupation in the cultivation of their gardens. Study, strictly speaking, is not allowed, lest the strain upon the mind become too severe. Each "desert" possessed extensive grounds which were laid out as forests with numerous rivulets and ponds. At equal distances from the convent and from each other there were small hermitages consisting of a cell and chapel, whither the friars retired at certain periods of the year, as Advent and Lent, in order to live in a solitude still more profound than that of the convent. There they followed all the exercises of the community, reciting their Offices at the same time and with the same solemnity as the brothers in choir, and ringing their bell in response to the church bells. Early in the morning two neighbouring hermits served each other's Mass. On Sundays and feasts they went to the convent for Mass, chapter, and Vespers, and returned in the evening to their hermitages, with provisions for the ensuing week. While in the hermitage they fared on bread, fruit, herbs, and water, but when in the convent their meals were less frugal, although even then the fast almost equalled that of the early monks. Notwithstanding this rigorous observance the "deserts" were never used as places of punishment for those guilty of any fault, but on the contrary as a refuge for those aspiring after a higher life. No one was sent to the "desert" except upon his own urgent request and even then only if his superiors judged that the applicant had the physical strength and ardent zeal to bear and to profit by the austerity of the hermit life. Among the more celebrated "deserts" should be mentioned those of San Juan Bautista, founded in 1606 at Santa Fé, New Mexico; Bussaco (1628), near Coimbra, Portugal, now a horticultural establishment and recreation ground; Massa (1682), near Sorrento, Italy, well known to visitors to Naples on account of the marvellous view of the gulfs of Naples and Salerno to be obtained from the terrace of the convent; and Tarasteix (1859), near Lourdes, France, founded by Father Hermann Cohen.


The Calced Carmelites tried to introduce a similar institute but were less successful. André Blanchard obtained in 1641 the papal approbation for the foundation of a convent at La Graville near Bernos, in France, where the original rule of St. Albert, without the mitigations of Innocent IV should be kept, and the life led by the hermits on Mount Carmel copied; all went well until the arrival, in 1649, of a pseudo-mystic, Jean Labadie, formerly a Jesuit, who in an incredibly short time succeeded in so influencing the majority of the religious, that at length the bishop had to interfere and dissolve the community. Another "desert" was founded by the Calced Carmelites in 1741 at Neti near Syracuse in honour of the Madonna della Scala. A suggestion made in the course of the seventeenth century to the Discalced Carmelites of the Italian congregation to introduce perpetual mental prayer after the manner in which in some convents the perpetual chant of the Divine Office, or Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is practiced, namely by relays of religious, was decided against by the chapter as being altogether unsuitable.


Exterior Occupations

Apart from the purely contemplative life led in the "deserts", and the specific religious exercises practiced in all convents (though in different measure), the chief occupation of the order consists now in the care of souls and missionary work. So long as the Carmelites occupied a well-defined position at the universities and took part in the academic work, a large number cultivated almost exclusively the higher studies. During the Middle Ages the subjects of Carmelite writings were almost invariable, including the explanation of a certain number of Biblical writings, lectures on the various books of Aristotle, the Sentences, and canon law, and sermons De tempore and De sanctis. In the long list of Carmelite writings preserved by Trithemius, Bale, and others, these subjects occur over and over again. Several friars are known to have cultivated the study of astronomy, as John Belini (1370) and Nicholas de Linne (1386); others concerned themselves with the occult sciences, e. g. William Sedacinensis, whose great work on alchemy enjoyed considerable vogue during the Middle Ages; Oliver Golos was expelled the order on account of his too great knowledge of astrology (1500). There were poets too, within the order, but while many were justly praised for purity and elegance of style, as Lawrence Burelli (c. 1480), only one secured lasting renown, Blessed Baptista Mantuanus. The other fine arts were also represented, painting chiefly by Philippo Lippi of Florence, whose life, unfortunately, caused him to be dismissed with dishonour. Although many friars cultivated music, no really prominent name can be mentioned. In the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries allusion is frequently made to Carmelite organists serving various churches outside the order while one obtained leave from the general to repair organs wherever his services might be required. In the University When the Carmelites first appeared at the universities, the two great schools of the Dominicans and Franciscans were already formed, and there remained no room for a third. Some attempts to elevate the teaching of John Baconthorpe to the rank of a theological school came to naught. The majority of lecturers and writers belonged to the Thomistic school, especially after the great controversies on grace had compelled various orders to choose sides. This tendency became so intense that the Carmelite Salmanticenses made it their duty to follow the teaching of the Angelical Doctor even in the minutest details. Controversy was inaugurated by Guy de Perpignan, general from 1318-20, author of "Summa de hæresibus"; the subject was taken up anew at the time of the Wycliffite troubles and ultimately led to the important works of Thomas Netter de Walden, the "Doctrinale" and "De Sacramentis et Sacramentalibus", which proved a gold mine for controversialists for several centuries. No epoch-making work was done at the time of the Reformation, and the order lost all its northern and the greater part of its German provinces. Although few Carmelite controversialists are to be found on the Catholic side (the best known being

Evrard Billick), there were hardly any prominent members among those who lost their faith.


Mystical Theology

Although Scholastic philosophy and theology, as well as moral theology, have found some of their chief exponents among the Carmelites (e.g. the Salmanticenses), other branches of science being less generously cultivated, the field on which absolutely fresh ground was opened by them is mystical theology. During the Middle Ages this subject had been treated only in so far as the ordinary course of studies required, and those of the friars who wrote on it were few and far between, nor do they seem to have exercised much influence. All this was changed with the establishment of the Teresain Reform. As has already been said, St. Teresa was led, unknown to herself, to the highest planes of the mystical life. With her marvellous gift of introspection and analysis, and her constant fear of swerving, be it ever so little, from the teaching of the Church, she subjected her own personal experiences to severe scrutiny, and ever sought the advice and direction of learned priests, chiefly of the Dominican Order. When St. John of the Cross joined the reform, he, fresh from the lecture-rooms at Salamanca and trained in the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas, was able to give her light on the phenomena of psychology and Divine grace. Both of these saints have left writings on mystical theology, Teresa recording and explaining in simple but telling words her own experiences, John taking up the matter more in the abstract sense; still some of his writings, particularly the "Ascent of Mount Carmel", might almost be considered a commentary on the life and the "Interior Castle" of St. Teresa. There is no evidence that he had derived his knowledge from study; he was unacquainted with the works of St. Bernard, Hugh of St. Victor, Gerson, and the Low German mystics, and knew nothing of the mystical school of the German Dominicans; he appears to have known St. Augustine and the other fathers only in so far as the Breviary and theological textbooks contained extracts from their writings. He was therefore in no way influenced by the views of earlier mystics, and had no difficulty in keeping aloof from the beaten track, but he evolved his system from his own and St. Teresa's personal experience as seen in the light of Scholastic theology, and with constant reference to the words of Holy Scripture. For the analogies and allegories of previous mystics he had no taste, and nothing was farther from him than the wish to penetrate the secrets of Heaven and gaze behind Divine revelation. An order which gives such prominence to the contemplative life could not but take up the subject and study it under all aspects. The experimental part, which of course does not depend on the will of the individual, but which, nevertheless, is assisted by a certain predisposition and preparation, found at all times a home not only in the "deserts" and the convents of Carmelite nuns, but in other houses as well; the annals of the order are full of biographies of profound mystics. Considering the danger of self-deception and diabolical illusion which necessarily besets the path of the mystic, it is surprising how free the Carmelite Order has remained from such blots. Rare instances are on record of friars or nuns who left the safe ground for the crooked ways of a false mysticism. Much of this indemnity from error must be ascribed to the training directors of souls receive, which enables them to discern almost from the outset what is safe from what is dangerous. They symptoms of the influence of good and evil spirits have been explained so clearly by St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross, and a prudent reserve in all that does not tend directly to the advancement of virtue has been so urgently counselled, that error can creep in only where there is a want of openness and simplicity on the part of the subject. Hence, among the great number of mystics there have been but a very few whose mysticism is open to question. Several great theologians endeavoured to reduce mystical theology to a science. Among these must be reckoned Jerome Gratian, the confessor and faithful companion of St. Teresa; Thomas of Jesus, who represented both sides of the Carmelite life, the active part as organizer of the missions of the Universal Church as well as of his order, and the contemplative part as founder of the "deserts". His great works on mystical theology were collected and printed at the bidding of Urban VIII; Philip of the Blessed Trinity (1603-71), whose "Summa theologiæ mysticæ" may be taken as the authoritative utterance of the order on this subject; Anthony of the Holy Ghost, Bishop of Angula (died 1677), author of a handbook for the use of directors of souls, entitled "Directorium mysticum"; Anthony of the Annunciation (died 1714), and, finally, Joseph of the Holy Ghost (died 1739), who wrote a large work on mystical theology in three folio volumes; all these and many more strictly adhered to the principles of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross and to the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. The ascetic part was not less cultivated. For elevation of principles and lucidity of exposition it would be difficult to surpass Ven. John of Jesus-Mary. The difficult art of obeying and the more difficult one of commanding have been dealt with in a masterly manner by Modestus a S. Amabili (died 1684). The Calced Carmelites, too, have furnished excellent works on different branches of mystical theology.


Foundations of Women

The Carmelite nuns established by St. Teresa spread with marvellous rapidity. Such was the veneration in which the foundress was held in Spain during her life-time that she received more requests for foundations than she could satisfy. Although very careful in the selection of superiors for new convents she had not always the most capable persons at her disposal and complained in several instances of the lack of prudence or the overruling spirit of some prioresses; she even found that some went so far as to tamper with the constitutions. Such incidents may be unavoidable during the first stage of a new order, but Teresa strove to counteract them by detailed instructions on the canonical visitation of her convents. She desired one of her favourite subjects, Ven. Anne of Jesus (Lobera, born 1545; died 4 March 1621), prioress of Granada to succeed her in the position of "foundress" of the order. Hence, when Nicolò Doria changed the manner of government of the Discalced Carmelites, Anne of Jesus submitted the Constitutions of St. Teresa (already revised by the General Chapter of 1581) to the Holy See for approbation. Certiain modifications having been introduced by successive popes, Doria refused to have anything to do with the nuns. His successors, however, reinstated them, but maintained the prohibition in vigour for the friars against making foundations outside Spain and the Spanish colonies. A convent, however, had already been inaugurated at Genoa and another was in contemplation in Rome, where some ladies, struck with the writings of St. Teresa, formed a community on the Pincian Hill under the direction of the Oratorians, one of the members being a niece of Cardinal Baronius. On the arrival of the Discalced friars in the Holy City it was found that the nuns had much to learn and more to unlearn. Other convents followed in rapid succession in various parts of Italy, the beatification and canonization of St. Teresa (1614 and 1622) acting as a stimulus. Not all convents were under the government of the order, many having been from the first subject to the jurisdiction of the local bishop; since the French Revolution this arrangement has become the prevailing one. In 1662 the number of nuns under the government of the Fathers of the Italian Congregation was 840; in 1665 it had risen to 906, but these figures, the only ones available, embrace only a very small fraction of the order. About the beginning of the seventeenth century Mme Acarie (Blessed Marie of the Incarnation, 1565-1618) was admonished in an apparition by St. Teresa to introduce her order into France. Several attempts were made to obtain some nuns trained by the holy foundress herself, but the Spanish superiors declared themselves unable to send subjects beyond the Pyrenees. M. (afterwards Cardinal) de Bérulle, acting on behalf of Mme Acarie and her friends, received a Brief from Rome empowering him to proceed with the foundation; but as it contained some clauses distasteful to him, e. g. that the new foundations should be under the government of the friars as soon as these should be established in France, and as it did not contain some others he had counted upon, he obtained through the French ambassador an order from the king commanding the general to send certain nuns to Paris. Among these were Anne of Jesus, and Ven. Anne of St. Bartholomew (1549 to 7 June, 1626), then a lay sister, who had been St. Teresa's attendant during the latter years of her life. Altogether seven sisters left Spain for Paris, where they arrived in July, 1604, being received by Princesse de Longueville and other ladies of the Court. As it soon became manifest that M. de Bérulle had his own ideas about the government of the order, which he was anxious to associate with the French Oratory founded by him, pending the establishment of an "Order of Jesus and Mary" he had in contemplation, six of the foundresses left France within a few years, while the seventh remained only under protest. The French Carmelite nuns were placed (with few exceptions) under the government of the Oratorians, the Jesuits, and secular priests, without any official connection either with the Spanish or the Italian congregation of Discalced Carmelites, forming a congregation apart from the rest of the order. They spread very rapidly, being held in high esteem by the episcopate, the Court, and the people. Unfortunately the mother-house in Paris (Couvent de l'Incarnation, Rue d'Enfer) became for some years one of the centres of the Jansenists, but otherwise the French Carmelites have reflected glory on the Church. Among the most celebrated French Carmelite nuns may be mentioned Louise de la Miséricorde (1644-1710), who as Duchesse de la Vallière had taken an unfortunate part in the court scandals under Louis XIV, which she expiated by many years of humble penance; Ven. Térèse de Saint Augustin (Mme Louis de France, 1737-87) daughter of Louis XV, notwithstanding her exalted birth, chose for herself one of the poorest convents, Saint-Denis near Paris, where she distinguished herself by the exercise of heroic virtue. During the Revolution all the communities were dissolved; one of them, that of Compiègne, endeavoured to keep up, as far as circumstances allowed, the observances prescribed by the rule, until the sixteen nuns were all apprehended, cast into prison, dragged to Paris, tried, condemned to death, and consigned to the guillotine, 17 July, 1794; they were beatified in 1906. Another Carmelite nun, Mother Camille de l'Enfant Jésus (Mme de Soyecourt) underwent with her community long imprisonment, but being at last liberated she became instrumental in re-establishing not only her own but many other convents. When at the beginning of the twentieth century the law on religious associations was passed, there were over a hundred Carmelite convents in France with several offshoots in distant parts of the world, even Australia and Cochin China. In consequence of the French legislation many communities took refuge in other countries, but some are still in their old convents. Quitting Paris for Brussels, Ven. Anne of Jesus became the foundress of the Belgian Carmel. At her instigation the Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia called the friars from Rome, with the result that foundations increased rapidly. One of these, at Antwerp, was due to Ven. Anne of St. Bartholomew, who, while in France, had been promoted from lay sister to prioress, having learned to write by a miracle; she was instrumental in delivering Antwerp from a siege. The Belgian Carmel sent out colonies to other countries, Germany and Poland, where Mother Teresa of Jesus (Marchocka, 1603-52) became celebrated. Another convent was founded at Antwerp for English ladies (1619), who were reinforced by Dutch sisters; in 1623 it was detached from the order and placed under the bishop, and in its turn made foundations at Lierre in 1648, and Hoogstraeten in 1678, all of which became the abode of many noble English ladies during the times of penal laws. At the outbreak of the French Revolution the nuns had to flee the country. After a short stay in the neighbourhood of London the community of Antwerp divided into two sections, one proceeding to America, the other settling ultimately at Lanherne in Cornwall, whence they sent out an offshoot which finally settled at Wells in Somerset (1870); the community of Lierre found a home at Darlington, Co. Durham (1830), and that of Hoogstraeten, after much wandering, settled at last at Chichester, Co. Sussex, in 1870. Not counting the French refugees, there are at present seven convents of Carmelite nuns in England. An earlier project for a convent in London, with Mary Frances of the Holy Ghost (Princess Elénore d'Este, 1643-1722, aunt of the Queen of James II) as prioress, came to naught owing to the Orange Revolution, but it appears that about the same time a community was established at Loughrea in Ireland. At times the nuns found it difficult to comply with all the requirements of the rule; thus they were often compelled to lay aside the habit and assume secular dress. Several convents were established in Ireland in the eighteenth century, but in some cases it became necessary for the nuns to accommodate themselves so far to circumstances as to open schools for poor children. There are at present twelve convents in Ireland, mostly under episcopal jurisdiction. The second section of the English community at Antwerp, consisting of Mother Bernardine Matthews as prioress and three sisters, arrived at New York, 2 July, 1790, accompanied by their confessor, Rev. Charles Neale, and Rev. Robert Plunkett. On the feast of St. Teresa, 15 October of the same year, the first convent, dedicated to the Sacred Heart, was inaugurated on the property of Mr. Baker Brooke, about four miles from Port Tobacco, Charles Co., Maryland. Want of support compelled the sisters to seek a more convenient site, and on 29 September, 1830, the foundation-stone was laid for a convent in Aisquith Street, Baltimore, whither the community migrated the following year, Mother Angela of St. Teresa (Mary Mudd) being then prioress. In 1872, during the priorship of Mother Ignatius (Amelia Brandy), the present (1908) convent, corner of Caroline and Briddle Streets was inaugurated. This community made a foundation at St. Louis, 2 October, 1863, first established at Calvary Farm, and since 1878 within the city. The foundation at New Orleans dates back to 1877, when Mother Teresa of Jesus (Rowan) and three nuns took a house in Ursuline Street, pending the construction of a convent in Barrack Street, which was completed on 24 November, 1878. The convent at Boston was founded 28 August, 1890, and in its turn established that of Philadelphia, 26 July, 1902, Mother Gertrude of the Sacred Heart being the first prioress. In May, 1875, some nuns from Reims arrived at Quebec and found a convenient place at Hochelaga near Montreal, where they established, the convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Another Canadian foundation attempted from Baltimore in the same year was unsuccessful, and had to be given up after a few years.


Life of the Nuns

The life of a Carmelite nun is somewhat different from that of a friar, as there is an essential difference between the vocation of a priest and that of a lay person. Active work, such as nursing the sick and teaching, are out of the question in a cloistered convent. The Carmelite sister leads a contemplative life, a considerable portion of her time being devoted to Divine service, meditation and other pious exercises, the rest occupied with household work and other occupations. The life is necessarily strict, the fasting severe, and there are many opportunities for exercising virtue.


Various Carmelite Institutions

Several religious institutions have gathered round Carmel. In the Middle Ages we find attached to many convents and churches anchorages, that is, hermitages for recluses who at their own request were walled up by the bishop and who exercised a great influence over the populace by reason of their example, their austerities, and their exhortations. Among the more celebrated Carmelite recluses may be mentioned Thomas Scrope of Bradley, at Norwich, afterwards titular Bishop of Dromore in Ireland and Apostolic legate in Rhodes; and Blessed Jane of Toulouse (beginning of the fifteenth century) whose cultus was approved by Leo XIII. Probably ever since the coming of the friars to Europe, founders of convents and benefactors were admitted to the order under the title of Confratres, which gave them a right to participation in the prayers and good works of a section or of the entire order, and to suffrages after their death. Neither such Confratres, nor even the text of confraternity letters, contain any mention of obligations incumbent on them. The letters were at first granted only after mature consideration, but from the end of the fifteenth century it was less difficult to obtain them; in many cases the general handed numerous blank forms to provincials and priors to be distributed by them at their own discretion. Out of this confraternity, which stood in no organic connection with the order, arose in the sixteenth century, according to all probability, the Confraternity of the Scapular. Another confraternity was a guild established in 1280 at Bologna, and perhaps elsewhere, which held its meetings in the Carmelite church and from time to time made an offering at a certain altar, but otherwise was entirely independent of the order. As has been seen, some communities of Beguines in the Netherlands asked, in 1452, for affiliation to the order, and thus gave rise to the first convents of Carmelite nuns. At a later period Herman of St. Norbert (died 1686), preaching in 1663 at Termonde, determine five Beguines, among them Anne Puttemans (died 1674), to sell their property and found the congregation of Maricoles or Maroles, which was aggregated to the order 26 March, 1672; they occupy themselves with the education of poor girls and with the care of the sick in their own homes, and have still many convents in the Dioceses of Mechlin, Ghent, and especially Bruges. A community of thirty-seven hermits living in various hermitages in Bavaria and the Tyrol having asked for aggregation, the General Chapter of the Discalced Carmelites of 1689 granted their wish under certain conditions, among others that not more than four or five should live in each hermitage, but the decree was rescinded in 1692, for what reason is not known, and all connection between these hermits and the order was severed.


Carmelite Tertiaries

Tertiaries or members of the Third or Secular Order may be divided into two classes, those living in their own homes and those living in community. The former class is first met with in the middle of the fifteenth century, when the Holy See granted permission to the Carmelites to institute a Third Order of secular persons, after the model of similar institutions attached to other mendicant orders. The oldest printed Missals and Breviaries contain the rite of admission of such persons; these were then known by the term of bizzoche, which has since acquired a somewhat unpleasant meaning. They were found to recite certain prayers (in the Teresian Reform also to practice meditation), to keep certain fasts and abstinences, refrain from worldly amusements, and to live under obedience to the superiors of the order; they might wear a distinctive habit resembling that of the friars or nuns. Tertiaries living in community observe a rule similar to, but less austere than, that of the friars; there are two communities of Tertiary brothers in Ireland, one at Clondalkin, where they have a boarding-school established previous to 1813, and another, in charge of an asylum for the blind, at Drumcondra near Dublin, There are also Tertiary fathers (natives) in the Archdiocese of Verapoly in India, established 1855, who serve a number of missions. Tertiary sisters have a convent in Rome founded by Livia Vipereschi for the education of girls; they were approved by Clement IX in 1668. The Austrian congregation has had, since 1863, ten houses partly for educational purposes, partly for the care of servants. In India, too, there are native Tertiary sisters in Verapoly and Quilon with thirteen houses, boarding schools, and orphanages. A Tertiary convent was founded in Luxemburg in 1886. Finally, mention must be made of the Carmelite Tertiaries of the Sacred Heart lately established in Berlin, with orphanages and kindergartens in various parts of Germany, Holland, England, Bohemia, and Italy.



At the present time (1908) there are about 80 convents of Calced Carmelite friars, with about 800 members and 20 convents of nuns; 130 convents of Discalced Carmelite friars, with about 1900 members; the number of convents of nuns, including the French previous to the passing of the Association law, was 360. A considerable portion of this article being based on unpublished material, the following notices are necessarily incomplete, and to a large extent antiquated.







Abuses, Irregularities

It is indispensable to have a clear idea of these abuses in order to understand the reforms called into life to counteract them.


· The permanency of superiors. Even an excellent superior is liable to lose his first energy after a number of years while an indifferent superior seldom improves. This is one of the most difficult problems in the history of monasticism, but the experience of fifteen hundred years has turned the scales in favour of a limited tenure of office.


. The right of private property. Notwithstanding the vow of poverty many religious were allowed the use of certain revenues from hereditary property, or the disposal of moneys acquired by their work, teaching, preaching, the copying of books, etc. All this was fully regulated by the constitutions and required special permission from the superiors. It was, therefore, quite reconcilable with a good conscience, but it necessarily caused inequality between rich and poor friars.


· The acceptance of posts of honour outside the order. From the middle of the fourteenth century the popes became more and more lavish in granting the privileges of papal chaplaincies, etc., to those who paid a small fee to the Apostolic chancery. These privileges practically withdrew religious from the rule of their superiors. Again, after the Black Death (1348) thousands of benefices fell vacant, which were too small to provide a living for an incumbent; these were eagerly sought after by religious, among others by Carmelites, who, for an insignificant service, such as the occasional celebration of Mass in a chantry, obtained a small but acceptable income. The papal dispensation ab compatibilibus and the necessary permission of the superiors were easily obtained. Others again were empowered to serve high ecclesiastics or lay people "in all things becoming a religious" or to act as chaplains on board ship, or to fill the post of organist in parish churches. All such exceptions, of which many instances could be quoted, tended to loosen the bonds of religious observance; they filled with pride those who had obtained them and with envy those who were less fortunate.


· A further source of disorder was found in the small convents with only a few religious, who, naturally, could not be expected to keep up the full observance and sometimes appear to have kept hardly any.



These and other abuses were by no means peculiar to the Carmelites; they occurred, to say the least, in an equal degree in all the mendicant orders, and awakened everywhere loud cries for reform. In point of fact, long before the end of the Western Schism nearly every order had inaugurated that long series of partial and local reforms which constitutes one of the most refreshing elements in the history of the fifteenth century; but though it seems to have remained unknown to the strenuous reformers, no lasting improvement was possible so long as the root of the evil was not removed. This was not in the power of individual reformers, even of saints, but required the concerted action of the whole Church. It required a Council of Trent to raise the whole conception of religious life to a higher level. The first step towards reform in the Carmelite Order dates from 1413, when three convents, Le Selve near Florence, Gerona, and Mantua, agreed to adopt certain principles, among which were the limitation of the tenure of office to two years, with an enforced vacation of four years between each two terms of office, the abolition of all private property, and the resignation of all posts necessitating the residence of religious outside their convents. After considerable difficulty, the congregation of Mantua, as it was called, obtained in 1442 quasi-autonomy under a vicar-general. It gradually brought under its authority several other houses in Italy, but it was only after the death of the general, John Soreth, himself an ardent reformer but an enemy of all separatist tendencies, that it began to spread with rapidity. In 1602 it counted fifty-two houses. The most celebrated member of this reform was Blessed Baptista Mantuanus (Spagnoli) (q. v.) who filled the office of vicar-general six times and became general of the whole order. The statutes of this congregation were printed in 1540 and again in 1602. After the French Revolution it was amalgamated with the remains of the old stock of the order in Italy.


Blessed John Soreth (1451-71) throughout his long generalship carried out a similar reform, but on the basis of the constitutions. His own life and work are a proof that under certain circumstances a protracted tenure of office can be most profitable. While offically visiting numerous provinces he established in each of them several reformed houses whither the most fervent religious flocked. For these he obtained many privileges; no superior could refuse permission to one desirous of joining such a convent; the very fact of entering a reformed house dispensed a religious from penalties previously incurred, which, however, would revive should he return to a non-reformed convent. No superior could withdraw a member of a reformed community except for the purpose of reforming other houses through his instrumentality. If Soreth was, on the whole, successful in his enterprise he also encountered a certain amount of systematic opposition on the part of graduates who were loth to give up their privileges of not attending choir, of taking their meals privately, and of having lay brothers and "fags" [younger brothers required to perform certain menial tasks] for their personal attendance, and who preferred to withdraw to distant convents rather than submit to the rules of the general. The latter obtained leave from the Holy See to fill up the gaps by bestowing the title of doctor on those who were not qualified by a proper course at the universities, a most dangerous proceeding, which before long led to fresh and serious abuses. It has often been asserted that Soreth died of poison, but there is no foundation for such a calumny. Even after his death the movement so happily inaugurated did not lose all vigour, but neither of his two immediate successors understood the art of appealing to the higher nature of his subjects, whereby Soreth had gained his marvellous influence. Christopher Martignon (1472-81) was considered an intruder, his election being ascribed to the pressure exercised by Sixtus IV, his personal friend, and Pontius Raynaud (1482-1502) had the reputation of being a martinet. Peter Terasse (1503-13) visited most of the provinces and has left in his register (unedited) a vivid picture of the condition of the order immediately before the Reformation. Many convents, he is able to state, were thoroughly reformed, while others were far from perfect. He himself, however, was too generous in granting licenses and privileges, and, though strict in punishing, he contributed not a little to the very abuses he intended to abolish. His successor, Blessed Baptista Mantuanus (1513-16), was too old and worn out to exercise any lasting influence. He obtained, however, the recognition and approbation of the congregation of Albi. This congregation had been established in 1499 by Bishop Louis d'Amboise, who, there being no reformed convent in the province of France, obtained from Mantuanus tow religious, one of whom died on the road; the survivor found in the Collège Montaigu in Paris some twenty students willing to embrace the religious life. They were placed in the convent of Albi, while the legitimate inmates were dispersed. Soon other convents, Meaux, Rouen, Toulouse, joined the movement, at the head of which was Louis de Lyra. It is related, though hardly credible, that the general died of grief when he heard of this new rift in the unity of the order. The General Chapter of 1503 excommunicated Louis de Lyra on the ground that the right of reforming belonged to the general and not to self-constituted reformers. But the congregation was already strong enough to offer resistance and had even found an entrance into the most important convent of the order, that of Paris. The next year Terasse spent five months there trying to win back the dissidents. At last, by a strange error of judgment, he ordered the lecturers to leave Paris at the conclusion of the term and the students to return to their native convents within three days. The natural result was that many of them formally joined the congregation of Albi which now obtained complete control at Paris. A compromise was then reached whereby the vacancies were alternately filled by the order and by the congregation of Albi. Baptista Mantuanus obtained for the latter papal approbation and an extension of the privileges of his own congregation. Notwithstanding this victory the new congregation became prey to disunion and was unable to make much headway. The evils brought about by the Reformation and the civil and religious wars weighed heavily upon it until, in 1584, it was dissolved by the Holy See.


A further reform of somewhat different nature was that of the convent of Mount Olivet near Genoa, 1514; it consisted in a return to the purely contemplative life and the ancient austerity of the order. The general, Giovanni Battista Rubeo, has left a record that during his visit there in 1568, which lasted only three days, he abstained from flesh meat. This reform continued well into the seventeenth century. A later reform modelled upon that of St. Teresa was inaugurated at Rennes in 1604 by Philip Thibault (1572-1638) and nine companions. With the assistance of the Discalced Carmelites he was able to give it a solid basis, so that before long it embraced the whole province of Touraine. Unlike the other reforms it remained in organic union with the bulk of the order, and enjoyed the favour of the French Court. Among its greatest ornaments were Leo of St. John, one of the first superiors, and the blind lay brother, John of St. Sampson, author of various works on the contemplative life.


Affiliations, Carmelite Sisters

About the middle of the fifteenth century several communities of Beguines at Gueldre, Dinant, etc., approached John Soreth with the request that they be affiliated to the order (1452). He gave them the rule and constitutions of the friars, to which he added some special regulations which unfortunately do not appear to be preserved. The prestige of the Carmelite Sisters grew rapidly when the Duchess of Brittany, Blessed Frances d'Amboise (1427-85), joined one of the convents, which she herself had founded. Before the end of the century there were convents in France, Italy (Blessed Jane Scopelli, 1491), and Spain. Especially in the latter country the manner of life of the nuns was greatly admired, and several convents became so crowded that the slender means available hardly sufficed for their maintenance.


St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross

The convent of the Incarnation at Avila was destined to fashion the brightest ornament of the Carmelite Order, St. Teresa of Jesus. Born in 1515 she entered the convent in 1535 and made her profession in the following year. Shortly afterwards she fell ill and, unable to fulfill the usual duties of a religious, gave herself to the practice of mental prayer. Frightened by her directors, who believed her trances to be diabolical illusions, she passed through a period of interior trials which awakened in her the desire for a more perfect life. Learning that the primitive rule aimed at the contemplative life and prescribed several austerities which had since been dispensed with, she resolved upon the foundation of a convent for thirteen nuns in her native town, which after many difficulties was established on 24 August, 1562. The general, Rubeo (1564-78), who at that time visited Spain, approved of what St. Teresa had done and encouraged her to make further foundations. In a letter written from Barcelona (unedited) he enlarged on the blessings of the contemplative life and granted permission for the establishment of two convents for reformed friars within the province of Castile. But warned by what had happened in the case of the congregation of Albi he made some very stringent regulations so as to suppress from the outset any separatist tendencies. In the course of fifteen years St. Teresa founded sixteen more convents of nuns, often in the teeth of the most obstinate oppression.


Among the friars she found two willing helpmates, the prior Anton de Heredia who had already filled important posts in the order, e. g. that of auditor of civil causes at the General Chapter of 1564, and St. John of the Cross, who had just completed his studies. They entered with supernatural courage upon a life of untold hardships and were joined not only by a number of postulants, but also by many of their former brethren in religion. The province of Castile being numerically weak, it stands to reason that the provincial resented the departure of so many of his subjects, among whom were the most reliable and promising. The papal nuncio, Hormaneto, was favourably disposed towards the reform. As Apostolic visitor of the religious orders he wielded papal powers and considered himself entitled to overrule the restrictions of the general. He granted leave for the foundation of other convents of friars, besides the two stipulated by the general, and for the extension of the reform to the province of Andalusia. By an almost incomprehensible error of judgment he appointed visitor of the Calced Carmelites of this last named province Jerome of the Mother of God (Jerome Gratian, 1545-1615) who had just made his profession among the Reformed or Discalced Carmelites, and who, however zealous and prudent, could lay no claim to much experience of the religious life. The Calced Carmelites appealed to Rome, and the result was that the general took a great dislike to the new reform. He himself was a reformer, and had favoured the foundation of a convent of reformed nuns at Alcalá de Henares by Mary of Jesus (1563), and of a reformed convent of friars at Onde in Aragon under James Montanes (1565), and in his visitations he frequently resorted to drastic measures to bring about improvements; moreover he was a strict disciplinarian, punishing faults with a severity which to us seems inconceivable. When he found that the danger he had striven to avert, viz. a repetition of the disorders caused by the congregation of Albi, had actually occurred, he resolved to root out the new reform. The General Chapter of 1575 decided to abolish the Discalced Carmelites, threatened to send Mariano del Terdo, formerly a hermit, and Baldassare Nieto, an ex-Minim, to their former abodes, ordered the three Andalusian convents of Grenada, Seville, and Peñuela, to be closed, and the friars to return to their proper convents within three days. The acts of the chapter (unedited) are silent as to the nuns, but it is known from the correspondence of St. Teresa that she received orders to choose one of her convents their to remain, and to abstain from further foundations.


The Discalced friars, however, relying upon the powers they had received from the nuncio, resisted these commands and went so far as to hold a provincial chapter at Almodóvar (1576). The general sent a visitor with ample powers, Girolamo Tostado, who for some years had been his official companion and was fully acquainted with his intentions. At this juncture the nuncio died and was succeeded by Sega, who at first remained impartial but soon began to proceed vigorously against the reform. A second chapter having been held at the same place (1578), the nuncio excommunicated all the capitulars; St. John of the Cross was seized in the convent of the Incarnation at Avila where he was confessor and hurried to Toledo, where he was thrown into a dungeon and cruelly treated; others were imprisoned elsewhere. The persecution lasted for nearly a year until at length Philip II intervened. The reform having thus proved too strong, it was resolved to give it legal standing by establishing a special province for the Discalced friars and nuns, but under obedience to the general (1580). The first provincial was Jerome Gratian who throughout had been the chief support of St. Teresa. To her it was given to see the triumph of her work, but dying on 4 October, 1582, she was spared the pain which the disunion among the friars of her own reform must have caused her. When founding her first convent she had a definite object in view. Not only was she anxious to reintroduce the contemplative life, but knowing how many souls were daily being lost through heresy and unbelief she wished the nuns to pray and offer up their mortifications for the conversion of infidels and heretics, while the friars were also to engage in active work. She was delighted when St. John of the Cross and his brethren went from village to village instructing the ignorant in Christian doctrine, and her joy knew no bounds when, in 1582, missioners of the order were sent out to the Congo. This first missionary expedition, as well as a second, came to an abrupt end through misadventures at sea, but a third was successful, at least so long as it received support from home. Jerome Gratian, the provincial, was heart and soul in these undertakings. When his tenure of office expired he was replaced by a man of a very different stamp, Nocoló Doria, known in religion as Nicholas of Jesus (1539-94), a Genoese who had come to Spain as the representative of a large banking house, in which capacity he was able to render important services to the king. Aspiring after a higher life, he distributed his immense fortune among the poor, took Holy orders and joined the reformed friars at Seville (1577). He rapidly rose from dignity to dignity, and while engaged in the foundation of a convent in his native town, was elected provincial of the Discalced Carmelites. Endowed with an iron will and indomitable energy, he at once began to fashion his subjects after his own ideas. Having known only the old stock of the order during the troublous times preceding the separation of his province, he was not attached to the order as such. He widened rather than lessened the breach by laying aside, on a mere pretext and against the wishes of the friars, the venerable Carmelite Liturgy in favour of the new Roman Office books, and by soliciting useless privileges from Rome; he withdrew the missioners from the Congo, renounced once for all every idea of spreading the order beyond the frontiers of Spain, restricted the active work to a minimum, increased the austerities, and without consulting the chapter introduced a new form a government which, it was said at the time, was more fit for the policing of an unruly Italian republic than for the direction of a religious order. He relegated St. John of the Cross to an out-of-the-way convent and on the flimsiest pretext expelled Jerome Gratian. Finally at the General Chapter of 1593 he proposed "for the sake of peace and tranquillity and for many other reasons", the total separation of the Discalced Carmelites from the rest of the order, which was granted by a Bull of 20 December, of the same year. Doria now became the first general of the Discalced Carmelites. He died a few months later. It would be unjust to belittle his merits and talents, but it must be acknowledged that in many respects his spirit was diametrically opposed to the lofty conceptions of St. Teresa and the generous dispositions of St. John of the Cross, while the unwarranted expulsion of Jerome Gratian is a blot on his reputation. It was, he said on his death-bed, the only thing that troubled him. The Spanish Carmelites having practically renounced all exterior work and interest, the further history of that branch reduces itself to notices on the foundations of convents, and the truly edifying life of numerous friars and nuns. At the end of the eighteenth century Spain possessed eight provinces with about 130 convents of friars and 93 of nuns. The greater number of these convents were suppressed in 1836, but many have been restored since 1875, when the old Spanish congregation was united with the Italian congregation. They now constitute the Order of the Discalced Carmelites, without subdivision. The Portuguese province was separated from the Spanish congregation in 1773 for political reasons; it possessed twenty-one convents of friars and nine of nuns, nearly all of which were secularized in 1834.


Missionary Work

As has been said, the first two missionary undertakings came to a premature end, one on account of shipwreck, the members of the other being captured by privateers. When set free the missioners, instead of resuming their journey to the west coast of Africa, proceeded to Mexico, where they laid the foundation of a province which in the course of time embraced twenty convents of friars and ten of nuns, but was finally suppressed by the Government. As early as 1563 Rubeo had granted leave to the Calced friar, Francisco Ruiz, to make foundations in Peru, Florida, and elsewhere, nominating him at the same time vicar-general. By 1573 there were convents at Santa Fè (New Mexico), New Grenada, and other places, and provision was made for further increase. The Chapter of 1666 took the matter seriously in hand and after certain reforms had been carried out the provinces of Bahia, Pernambuco, and Rio de Janeiro were erected in 1720. There were also convents in Guadeloupe and San Domingo, and there is evidence that foundations were contemplated, if not actually made, in the Philippine Islands as far back as 1705. The Discalced Carmelite nuns of the Spanish congregation found their way to the states of South America as early as the beginning of the seventeenth century; several of their convents are still in existence, and others have lately been erected in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru. The congregation of St. Elias of Discalced Carmelites, otherwise called the Italian congregation was erected at the instigation of Clement VIII. By a strange irony of fate Nicolò Doria, who afterwards resisted the spreading of the order beyond the Peninsula and the Spanish colonies, had been commissioned in 1584 to establish a convent at Genoa. This was followed by one in Rome, Santa Maria della Scala, destined to become the nursery of a new congregation and the living example of perfect observance, and another at Naples. Several of the most prominent members of the Spanish congregation had been sent to these foundations, among them Ven. Peter of the Mother of God (1565-1608), and Ferdinand of St. Mary (1538-1631), who became the first superiors; Ven. John of Jesus Mary (1564-1615), whose instructions for novices have become authoritative, and whose incorrupt body is still preserved in the convent of St. Sylvester near Monte Compatri; Ven. Dominic of Jesus Mary (1559-1630), the great wonder-worker of his time, and Thomas of Jesus (1568-1627) to whose genius for organization not only the order but the Catholic Church is deeply indebted. With men such as these at its head the congregation spread rapidly, not alone in Italy but through the length and breadth of Europe, and attracted men of high social position. The Archduke Albert of Austria and his consort, the Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia of Spain having applied in Rome for a colony of Discalced Carmelites, the pope nominated Thomas of Jesus founder of the Belgian province. So successful was he that in the course of twelve years he erected ten convents of friars and six of nuns. The establishment in France was more difficult; systematic opposition from various quarters rendered each foundation a hard task, yet from 1611 till the end of the century almost every year saw the foundation of one or two new convents. Germany, Austria, Poland, even distant Lithuania, were opened to the disciples of St. Teresa. The spread of the congregation may perhaps best be illustrated by statistics. In 1632 the reform counted 763 priests, 471 clerics and novices, and 289 lay brothers, total 1523. In 1674 there were 1814 priests, 593 clerics and 747 lay brothers, total 3154. In 1731 the total had risen to 4193 members. No later statistics are available, but it may be taken that the increase continued for another twenty years until the spirit of Voltaire began to make itself felt. Comparatively little has been published about the foundations, the annals of the order reaching only as far as 1612, and much manuscript material having been lost, but a great deal is still waiting for the hand of the chronicler.


Although the exercise of the contemplative life was given prominence even by the Italian congregation, the active life received far wider scope than in the Spanish fraction of the order. Almost from the beginning it was decided on principle and in full harmony with the known intentions of St. Teresa, that missionary undertakings were quite reconcilable with the spirit of the congregation. The pope himself suggested Persia as the first field of labour for Carmelite missioners. Such was the zeal of the fathers assembled in chapter that each of them declared himself ready to lay down his office and go forth for the conversion of unbelievers as soon as his superiors should give him permission to do so. This promise is made to the present day by every member of the order. It was not until 1604 that the first expedition led by Paul Simon of Jesus Mary was actually sent out to Persia. Three fathers, a lay brother, and a tertiary, proceeded through Germany, Poland, and Russia, following the course of the Volga, sailing across the Caspian Sea, until after more than three years of great hardship they reached Ispahan on 2 December, 1607. They met with surprising success, and being speedily reinforced were soon able to extend their activity to Bagdad, Bassora, and other towns, penetrating into India where they founded flourishing missions at Bombay, Goa, Quilon, Verapoly, and elsewhere, even at Peking. Some of these missions are still in the hands of the order, although the political events of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries proved fatal to others. Another field of labour was the Near Orient, Constantinople and Turkey, Armenia and Syria. To these was added in 1720 "a new mission in America in the district called Mississippi or Lusitania, which was offered by Captain Poyer in the name of the French company, but under certain conditions". If indeed this mission was accepted, it does not seem to have been long prosperous.


One of the happy results of the establishment of missions in the Levant was the recovery of Mount Carmel, which had been lost to the order in 1291. Prosper of the Holy Ghost on his journeys to and from India had repeatedly visited the holy mountain and convinced himself that with prudence and tact it might be recovered. For a time the superiors were by no means favourably disposed towards the project, but at last they furnished him with the necessary powers, and a contract to the said effect was signed at Caiffa, 29 November, 1631. Onuphrius of St. James, a Belgian, and two companions were commissioned to re-establish religious life on the spot where the Carmelite order had had its origin. They reached Alexandrette on 5 November, 1633, and at the beginning of the following year took possession of Mount Carmel. For cells, oratory, refectory, and kitchen they used caverns cut in the living rock, and their life in point of austerity and solitude was worthy of the prophets who had dwelt on Carmel. At length it became necessary to construct a proper convent, in which they were installed 14 December, 1720, only to be plundered a few days later by the Turks, who bound the fathers hand and foot. This convent served as a hospital during Napoleon's campaign; the religious were driven out, and on their return, 1821, it was blown up by the Turks. An Italian lay brother, John Baptist of the Blessed Sacrament (1777-1849), having received orders to rebuild it, and having collected alms in France, Italy, and other countries, laid the foundation stone of the new fabric in 1827. But as it became necessary to do the work on a larger scale than formerly, it was completed only by his successor, Brother Charles, in 1853. It forms a large square block, strong enough to afford protection against hostile attempts; the church is in the centre with no direct entrance from outside; it is erected over a crypt sacred to the Prophet Elias, and has been elevated by the pope to the rank of minor basilica. There are few travellers of any creed who in the course of their journeys in the Holy Land do not seek hospitality on Mount Carmel. It must not be supposed that the Carmelites were spared the perils to which the missionary life is exposed. John of Christ Crucified, one of the first band of missioners sent out to Persia met with a hostile reception in the neighbourhood of Moscow, and was thrown into a dungeon where he remained for three years. At last he was released and, nothing daunted, continued his journey to Ispahan. Another lay brother Charisius a Sanctâ Mariâ, suffered martyrdom in 1621 on the Island of Ormuz; he was tied to a tree and cut open alive. Blessed Dionysius of the Nativity (Pierre Bertholet), and Redemptus a Cruce, a Portuguese lay brother, suffered for the Faith in Sumatra on 28 November, 1638. The former had been pilot and cartographer to the Portuguese viceroy, but gave up his position and became a Carmelite novice at Goa. Soon after his profession the viceroy once more demanded his services for an expedition to Sumatra; Dionysius was ordained priest so that he might at the same time act as chaplain and pilot, and Redemptus was given him as companion. No sooner had the ship cast anchor at Achin than the ambassador with his suite was treacherously apprehended, and Dionysius, Redemptus, and a number of others were put to death with exquisite cruelty. The two Carmelites were beatified in 1900. Other members of the order suffered martyrdom at Patras in Achaia in 1716. In order to ensure the steady supply of missioners the order established some missionary colleges. The original idea had been to found a special congregation under the title of St. Paul, which should entirely devote itself to missionary work. The Holy See granted permission and placed the church of St. Paul in Rome (now Santa Maria della Vittoria) at the disposition of the congregation; but on second thought the project was allowed to drop, and the missionary career was opened to all members of the Italian congregation. Those who manifested a talent in this direction, after having completed their ordinary studies were sent to the college of S. Pancrazio in Rome (1662) or to that of St. Albert at Louvain (1621) to study controversy, practical theology, languages, and natural sciences. After a year they were allowed to take the missionary oath, and after a second year they returned to their provinces until a vacancy in one of the missions necessitated the appointment of a new labourer; by these means the order was prepared to send out efficient subjects at very short notice. The seminary of the Missions ètrangérs in Paris was founded by a Carmelite, Bernard of St. Joseph, Bishop of Babylon (1597-1663).



An attempt in this direction had been made soon after the Council of Trent, but was not followed up. The pope, struck with the missionary zeal of the Carmelites, consulted Thomas of Jesus as to the best means of bringing about the conversion of infidels. This religious, in his works "Stimulus missionum" (Rome, 1610) and especially "De procurandâ salute omnium gentium" (Antwerp, 1613), laid down the disciples upon which the Holy See actually instituted and organized the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda; other fathers, particularly Ven. Dominic of Jesus Mary, contributed towards its success by collecting funds; the Bull of institution by Gregory XV pays just a tribute to the zeal of the Carmelites. In establishing missions the order had in view not only the conversion of infidels but also that of Protestants. St. Teresa herself had been deeply afflicted by the spread of Lutheranism; hence the foundation of the Dutch, English, and Irish missions. The history of the first of these is only partly known; of the three it was the least beset with difficulties, and although obstacles were never wanting, it did not pass through the dangers which were a matter of almost daily occurrence in England and Ireland. The most prominent members were Peter of the Mother of God (Bertius, died 1683) and his brother Cæsar of St. Bonaventure (died 1662), the sons of Peter Bertius, rector of the University of Leyden, a famous convert to the Catholic Faith.


Missions in the British Isles

The establishment of a mission in England dates back to the year 1615. Thomas Doughty of Plombley, Lincolnshire (1574-1652), probably himself a convert, entered the Carmelite novitiate of La Scala in 1610 after having spent some years at the English College where he had taken Holy orders. After a few months he was obliged by ill-health to return to England, but remained in correspondence with the order and sent some postulants to Belgium. Finally he resumed the religious life and after profession proceeded to London, where he had charge of important negotiations. Having become acquainted with the Spanish ambassador and having secured a chaplaincy for himself and his successors, he was introduced at Court and gained the confidence of Queen Anne of Denmark. Nevertheless he was never secure from priest-hunters and had many hairbreadth escapes. Other missioners having joined him, he withdrew to a country place near Canterbury where he died after a long illness. He was the author of several controversial and spiritual books much appreciated in his time. For years he loudly advocated the establishment of an English novitiate on the Continent, for which he collected the necessary funds, but unfortunately the superiors did not see their way to take up the idea and when at last it was carried out it came too late to be of much practical use. The next missioner, Eliseus of St. Michael (William Pendryck, 1583-1650), a Scotsman and a convert, who had received his religious training at Paris and Genoa, arrived in London with letters patent constituting him vicar-provincial and superior of the mission. He led for the most part a very retiring life but did not escape persecution; towards the end of his activity he became involved in one of the innumerable disputes as to the extent of the pope's powers; compelled to justify his attitude before the nuncio in Belgium, he returned to England crushed with disappointment. Among the prominent missioners must be mentioned Bede of the Blessed Sacrament (John Hiccocks, 1588-1647), a converted Puritan, who had been the first superior of the missionary college at Louvain. Soon after his arrival in London he was offered a mission on the estates of Lord Baltimore in Newfoundland, which he appears to have been inclined to accept, but when the faculties from Rome arrived, he was in prison, having been surprised by the priest-hunters while writing to his superiors. For several months his fate as well as that of a brother religious and fellow-prisoner was uncertain, but being at last set free through the intervention of the French ambassador he returned to Belgium. He underwent imprisonment for a second time in Holland, but after a long interval came back to London where he resumed his missionary work. Francis of the Saints (Christopher Leigh, 1600-41) died of the plague contracted in prison. John Baptist of Mount Carmel (John Rudgeley, 1587-1669) spent a considerable portion of his life in prison. Joseph of St. Mary (Nicholas Rider, 1600-82), after many years of fruitful activity, devoted his old age to the training of aspirants to the order; these were sent abroad for their novitiate and studies and on their return were appointed to one or other of the missionary stations belonging to the order.


The most remarkable men in a long series of missioners were Bede of St. Simon Stock (Walter Joseph Travers, 1619-96) and his half brother, Lucian of St. Teresa (George Travers, 1642-91). The son of a Devonshire clergyman, Walter Travers was articled to a London solicitor. An elder brother having become a Catholic and a Jesuit, Walter, desirous of guarding himself against a like fate, began to study controversial works with the result that he became convinced of the truth of the Catholic Church which he went to Rome to join. He became a student the English College and afterwards entered the Carmelite Order in which he filled various offices. He was active in London during the whole period of the Restoration and has left a record of his manifold experience. At the outbreak of the Oates' Plot he was obliged to return to Italy, but after some years resumed his work in London, until old age and grief over his brother's death compelled him to retire to Paris where he died in the odour of sanctity. He had the consolation of solemnly inaugurating a chapel in Bucklersbury in London, as well as those at Heresford and Worcester, but the Orange Revolution undid the work begun by him. George Travers, after a dissolute life, accidentally met his brother in London, was rescued by him, instructed, and received into the Church. He made his studies under Joseph of St. Mary, and entered the novitiate at Namur. At the outbreak of the plot he was sent to London, where he passed through many thrilling adventures. Some time after the Orange Revolution he was betrayed by a false friend, and thrown into prison, whither his accuser, on a different charge, followed him. This man was suffering from a contagious disease which Lucian, while nursing him, contracted, and of which he died, 26 June, 1691.


Much less is known of the missioners of the eighteenth century than of those of the seventeenth. Their lives, though still exposed to dangers, were as a rule quiet; moreover, the art of memoir writing seems to have been lost under the House of Orange. One of the more prominent missioners of this period was Francis Blyth (q.v.). In 1773 the English mission acquired the college of the Society of Jesus, recently suppressed, at Tongres, where a number of missioners were prepared for their work before the French Revolution swept over Belgium. The disappearance of this short-lived establishment dealt the death-blow to the Carmelite mission in England. A few missioners remained stationed in various places, but they received no fresh help and little encouragement; the property of the mission as well as its library and archives were lost through the iniquitous laws which rendered the last will of a Catholic illegal. On the occasion of the Catholic Emancipation, Francis Willoughby Brewster was obliged to fill up a parliamentary paper with the laconic remark: "No superior, no inferior, being the last man". He died at Market Rasen in Lincolnshire 11 January, 1849. Cardinal Wiseman, anxious to introduce the Discalced Carmelites into his archdiocese, obtained in 1862 an order authorizing him to select some suitable subjects. His choice fell upon Hermann Cohen (Augustine Mary of the Blessed Sacrament, 1820-71), a converted Jew of Hamburg, originally a brilliant musician, whose conversion and entrance into a strict order had caused considerable stir in France. He opened a small chapel in Kensington Square, London, 6 August, 1862, where the new community struggled against many difficulties, not the least of which was their deep poverty. Before long a convenient site was found for a spacious church, designed by Pugin and inaugurated by Cardinal Manning in 1866, and a convent, completed in 1888. A second house having been founded in a remote country district in Somerset, the English semi-province was canonically established in 1885. Father Hermann did not see the completion of his work; having been called to Spandau to minister to the French prisoners of war, he died of smallpox and was buried in Berlin.


Soon after the English mission a similar undertaking was begun in Ireland by Edward of the Kings (Sherlock, 1579-1629) and Paul of St. Ubaldus, both of whom had made their novitiate in Belgium and had in all probability studied at the missionary college at Louvain. Although the persecution in Ireland was, if possible, more brutal than that in England, Catholic missioners had the support of the poorer classes, who clung tenaciously to their Faith, and from among who they were recruited. Besides a convent at Dublin they founded residences in the ruins of several former Carmelite abbeys (as they were called), viz. at Athboy, Drogheda, Ardee, Kilkenny, Loughrea, Youghal, and other places. Many of these were but of ephemeral existence. About the same time the Calced Carmelites returned to Ireland, and there arose a dispute as to the ownership of these convents. At the separation of the orders it had been stipulated that the Discalced Carmelites were not to take away any of the convents of their Calced brethren. The Holy See decided in 1640 that the former should retain possession of the four ancient convents they then inhabited, as there still remained twenty-eight houses for the Calced Carmelites to revive. No sooner had this decision reached Ireland than the Cromwell persecution put a stop to any further increase and necessitated the dissolution of the communities that had been erected. Several friars earned the crown of martyrdom, viz. Thomas Aquinas of St. Teresa, who was put to death at Ardee in 1642; Angelus of St. Joseph, cleric (George Halley), an Englishman who was shot 15 August, 1642; and Peter of the Mother of God, lay brother, who was hanged at Dublin, 25 March, 1643. There is reason to believe that others met with a similar fate, but no particulars have been preserved; many, however, suffered imprisonment. Such events told on the life of the province. Canonically erected in 1638, it was dissolved in 1653 but re-established during the comparatively quiet time of the Restoration. In 1785 a chapel and convent were built near the ruins of the Abbey of Loughrea, founded in 1300, and from 1640 in the hands of the Teresian friars, who, nevertheless, were several times obliged to abandon it. Further building operations were carried out in 1829 and again towards the end of the century. The year 1793 witnessed the laying of the foundation stone of St. Teresa's church, Clarendon Street, Dublin. This church, which also underwent frequent alterations and enlargements, served as a meeting room during Daniel O'Connell's campaign, which ended in the Catholic Emancipation Act. It was felt that in this case the interests of the Church were identical with those of the country. A third convent was built at Donnybrook near Dublin in 1884.


The Calced Carmelites appear to have attempted a mission in England at the beginning of the seventeenth century when George Rainer was put to death (c. 1613). No particulars are known about his life and the missionary projects seems to have died with him. In Ireland, however, they carried on a flourishing mission from the early part of the same century, and they have at present six convents and a college which is well attended. Their church in Whitefriars Street, Dublin, is well known to Catholics and is an architectural curiosity. Steps were taken about 1635 to make a foundation in America, and a petition was presented to the pope for approbation of the mission founded there, but for some reason or other it does not seem to have had a lasting result. The Dutch province, however, founded houses at Leavenworth (1864) and Scipio, Anderson Co., Kansas (1865); Englewood, Bergen Co., New Jersey (1869); New Baltimore, Somerset Co., Pennsylvania (1870); Pittsburg, Pennsylvania (1870); Niagara Falls, Canada (1875); and St. Cyril's College, Illinois (1899); while the Irish Calced Carmelites settled in 1888 in New York City and at Tarrytown, New York, and the Bavarian Discalced Carmelites at Holy Hill and Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (1906).


Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg. duplex" to celebrate the victory of their order over its enemies on obtaining the approbation of its name and constitution from Honorius III on 30 Jan., 1226 (see Colvenerius, "Kal. Mar.", 30 Jan. "Summa Aurea", III, 737). The feast was assigned to 16 July, because on that date in 1251, according to Carmelite traditions, the scapular was given by the Blessed Virgin to St. Simon Stock; it was first approved by Sixtus V in 1587. After Cardinal Bellarmine had examined the Carmelite traditions in 1609, it was declared the patronal feast of the order, and is now celebrated in the Carmelite calendar as a major double of the first class with a vigil and a privileged octave (like the octave of Epiphany, admitting only a double of the first class) under the title "Commemoratio solemnis B.V.M. de Monte Carmelo". By a privilege given by Clement X in 1672, some Carmelite monasteries keep the feast on the Sunday after 16 July, or on some other Sunday in July. In the seventeenth century the feast was adopted by several dioceses in the south of Italy, although its celebration, outside of Carmelite churches, was prohibited in 1628 by a decree contra abusus. On 21 Nov., 1674, however, it was first granted by Clement X to Spain and its colonies, in 1675 to Austria, in 1679 to Portugal and its colonies, and in 1725 to the Papal States of the Church, on 24 Sept., 1726, it was extended to the entire Latin Church by Benedict XIII. The lessons contain the legend of the scapular; the promise of the Sabbatine privilege was inserted into the lessons by Paul V about 1614. The Greeks of southern Italy and the Catholic Chaldeans have adopted this feast of the "Vestment of the Blessed Virgin Mary". The object of the feast is the special predilection of Mary for those who profess themselves her servants by wearing her scapular (see CARMELITES).


Transcribed by Paul T. Crowley

In Dedication to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Mary's Catholic Church and associated missions, Vaughn, New Mexico



The scapular (from Lat., scapula, shoulder) forms a part, and now the most important part, of the habit of the monastic orders. Other orders and numerous religious congregations (both male and female) have also adopted the scapular from the monastic orders. It is usually worn over the habit or soutane. It consists essentially of a piece of cloth about the width of the breast from one shoulder to the other (i. e. about fourteen to eighteen inches), and of such a length that it reaches not quite to the feet in front and behind. There are also shorter forms of the scapular. In the middle is the opening for the head, the scapular thus hanging down from two narrow connecting segments resting on the shoulders. Originally the longitudinal segments of cloth were connected by cross segments passing under the arms-a form which exists even today. In former times also two segments of cloth hung over the shoulders, which they covered, and thus formed a cross with the longitudinal segments over the breast and back (cf. P. L., CIII, 1231, editorial note). This monastic scapular, like the whole monastic habit and indeed the liturgical vestments of the priest, developed from the ordinary clothing of the laity. And, just as the stole is the special sign of the priestly dignity and power, the scapular is now the sign of the monk. In the West, in the case of St. Benedict, the scapular was at first nothing else than a working garment or apron such as was then worn by agricultural labourers. Thus, in the Rule of St. Benedict, it was expressly termed "scapulare propter opera" (c. xxv in P. L. LXXVI, 771). From this developed the special monastic garment, to which a hood could be fastened at the back. In fact, the original scapular of the Dominican Order was so made that it acted also as a covering for the head, and thus as a hood. The scapular of the West corresponded to the analabus of the East. Monastic formulae of profession of the West from the ninth century make no mention of the investment with the scapular. It was only gradually that it became one of the important part of the monastic habit. Later, like the analabus, it was solemnly presented during the clothing and the symbolism of the scapular is emphasized in the formula used during this ceremony. Especially the analabus but also the scapular was often called simply crux (cross) on account of its shape, and symbolism introduced accordingly. It was thus natural to term the scapular jugum Christi (the yoke of Christ); it was also called scutum (shield), as it was laid over the head, which it originally covered and protected with one portion (from which the hood afterwards developed). In the rules of the religious it is expressly prescribed under penalties that even at night the scapular must be worn, e.g. in the case of the Servites and Carmelites. For night the Carmelites have now a special smaller scapular which, however, is still much larger than the so called great scapular of the Third Order of St. Francis; it measures about twenty inches in length and ten in width. In the Constitutions of the Carmelite Order of 1369 (Cod. Vatic. lat. 3991 fol. 33 v.) it is appointed that each candidate of the order must bring with him his bed and in addition: "habeat etiam cum rauba sua parvum scapulare cum tunica ad jacendum" (cf . Wessels, "Analecta Ord. Carmel.", Rome, 1911, p. 122). Perhaps the smaller scapular for the night is here hinted at or foreshadowed. Perhaps even the small scapular of the confraternity (that for the laity) may be suggested, since the reference is to persons coming from the world (novices) who should have this small scapular. It is likewise prescribed in the Constitutions of the Servites of 1257 "quod nullus accedat sine scapulari et tunica dormitum". Again, after St. Benedict had declared in his Rule XXII: "Vestiti dormiant et cincti cingulis aut funibus", it was prescribed in the "Consuetudines sublacenses": "Vestiti autem dormiant id est ad minus in una tunica et scapulari et cincti ut sint parati surgere" (Albers, "Consuet. monasticae", II, 126). This scapular thus appears to have been a portion of the night clothing of monks.


To the first orders have been gradually added the second and third orders and the oblates, who receive the proper habit from the first orders. Early in the Middle Ages numerous lay persons had already joined the Benedictine Order as oblates, these often received from the first order the entire monastic habit which they wore either constantly in the world or at least during Divine Service. It was regarded as a great grace and privilege to be able to die and be buried m the monastic habit, which was frequently given to the dying or placed on the deceased before burial. In the revised statutes of the Oblates of the Benedictine Order, confirmed in 1891 and 1904, it is stated in conclusion: "The Oblates may be buried in the black habit of the order, with scapular and girdle, wherever the conditions allow the fulfilment of this pious wish". In the first Rule of the Third Order of St.. Francis of 1221 (also in that of 1289), the investment is fairly exactly described, but there is no mention of a scapular. The first Rule of the Third Order of St. Dominic in the first half of the thirteenth century prescribed likewise a formal and complete investment. Here also there is no mention of the scapular. As in the case of the other third orders this made its appearance later, until finally it became usual to wear the scapular under one's ordinary clothing instead of the full habit of the order. By the Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars of 20 December, 1616, it was declared that the Bizzoche who lived in the houses of relatives (and thus quite without restraint in the world), might wear the tertiary habit, but without supriectum, sottogola, and patientia (i. e., without veil, pectorale, and scapular). Later, the wearing of the special habit of an order became unusual, and the constant wearing of such was regarded as a privilege. Gradually, however the most distinctive article of the monastic habit the scapular, was given, and is in an ever smaller form. It has thus come to pass that the third orders for the laity, such as those of the Franciscans, Servites and Dominicans, wear to day as their special badge and habit a "large" scapular, consisting essentially of two segments of woollen cloth (about four and a half inches long and two and three eighths inches broad in the case of the Franciscan scapular, much longer and broader in the case of the Carmelite although no particular length or breadth is prescribed) connected with each other by two strings or bands. The best known scapular is that of the Third Order of St,. Francis, or, as it is simply called, the Scapular of St. Francis; it is brown, grey, or black in colour and has (at least generally) on one of the woollen segments the image of St. Francis and on the other that of the little church of Portiuncula. For these large scapulars the same general rules hold good as described in detail below in the case of the small scapulars. It is especially necessary that persons who desire to share in the indulgences and privileges of the third orders shall wear the scapulars constantly. However, the Congregation of Indulgences expressly declared on 30 April, 1885, that the wearing of the scapulars of smaller form and of the same size as those of the confraternities entitled one to gain the indulgences of the third order (cf. Constit.. Leonis XIII, "Misericors Dei Filius", 30 May, 1883; "Acta S. Sed.", XV, 513 sqq.).


Like the large scapulars the first and oldest small scapulars originated to a certain extent in the real monastic scapular. Pious lay persons of either sex attached themselves to the Servites for instance; many of those who were in a position to do so attached themselves to the third order with vows, but in the case of many others either this was impossible or the idea of doing so had as yet not occurred to them. In this manner developed, shortly after the foundation of the Servite Order, the Confraternity of the Servi B. Mariae Virginis. Similarly originated the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel; that this existed in 1280 is proved by the still extant "Libro degli ordinamenti de la compagnia di Santa Maria del Carmine scritto nel 1280" (edited by Giulio Piccini at Bologna, 1867, in "Scelta di Curiosità letterarie"). The members of these confraternities were called the confratres and consores of the respective orders; they had special rules and participated in the spiritual goods of the order to which then belonged. It is probable also that many of those who could not be promoted to the third order or who were special benefactors of the first order received the habit of the order or a large scapular similar to that of the oblates, which they might wear when dying and in which they might be buried. It was only later and gradually that the idea developed of giving to everyone connected with the order the real scapular of the order in miniature as their badge to be always worn day and night over or under their ordinary clothing. It was now that these confraternities developed into scapular confraternities in the modern sense. On account of the scapulars the faithful resorted ever more to these confraternities, especially after they had heard of the wonderful graces which members had received through the scapulars, and above all when the story of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin and of her promise to all who wore the Scapular of Mount Carmel faithfully until death became known. Consequently, the four oldest small scapulars are like wise the badges of four confraternities, attached respectively to the Carmelites, Servites, Trinitarians and Mercederians. Later on the Franciscans gave the members of their third order for the laity the large scapular, and founded also a Franciscan confraternity the members of which were given as their badge not a small scapular, but a girdle. The Dominicans likewise assigned to their third order the large scapular as its badge, and to their principal confraternity the rosary. Since 1903, however, there is a small scapular of St. Dominic provided with an indulgence but connected with no confraternity ("Analecta eccl.", 1904, p. 261). The Benedictines, on the other hand founded a special confraternity in the latter half of the thirteenth century, and gave to its members a small scapular of St. Benedict. An attempt was later made to give the oblates of the Benedictines a larger scapular which could be worn constantly. However, the regulation which was already quoted from the new statutes of the Benedictines Oblates still remain in force.


In the course of time other orders received the faculty of blessing small scapulars and investing the faithful with them, although such scapulars were not always connected with a confraternity. Thus originated the Blue Scapular of the Theatines in the seventeenth century, in connexion with which a confraternity was not founded until the nineteenth century. The Fathers of the Precious Blood have a scapular and confraternity named after their order. Similarly the Camillians have the Confraternity and Scapular of Our Lady the Help of the Sick, and the Augustinians the Confraternity and Scapular of the Mother of Good Counsel, in which cases the scapular and confraternity are not inseparably united; finally the Capuchins have the Scapular of St. Joseph without a corresponding confraternity. The Lazarists have the Red, and the Passionists the Black Scapular of the Passion. Under Leo XIII originated in Rome the Scapular Confraternity of St. Michael the Archangel, which is attached not so much to an order as to the church in which it exists. Also under Leo XIII, in 1900, were approved the Scapular of the Sacred Heart, the Scapular of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (both without a corresponding confraternity), and the Scapular of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which originated in 1877. These complete the list of the seventeen known small scapulars. The history of the origin of the first four small scapulars is still to a great extent obscure. It is probable that the revival of the religious life in the sixteenth century (the Counter-Reformation) gave the chief impetus to the development of the scapulars, as to other institutions and practices (e. g., confraternities and novenas). To assign an exact date to the origin of the first small scapular is still impossible; it appears, however, that the Carmelite scapular antedated all the others, as a prototype well worthy of imitation, and had its origin the above mentioned scapular prescribed for wearing at night. At the end of the sixteenth century the scapular was certainly widespread, as is clear from the information given by the Carmelite Joseph Falcone in "La Cronica Carmelitana", a book which was published at Piacenza in 1595. Before entering into further detail concerning the individual scapulars, we must give the general rules and regulations which apply to all the small scapulars.


The small scapulars consist essentially of two quadrilateral segments of woolen cloth (about two and three-quarter inches long by two inches wide), connected with each other by two strings or bands in such a manner that, when the bands rest on the shoulders, the front segment rests before the breast, while the other hangs down an equal distance at the back. The two segments of cloth need not necessarily be equally large, various scapulars having the segment before the breast of the above dimensions while the segment at the back is much smaller. The material of these two essential parts of the scapular must be of woven wool; the strings or bands may be of any material, and of any one colour. The colour of the segments of woollen cloth depends on the colour of the monastic habit, which it to a certain extent represents, or on the mystery in honour of which it is worn. Here, however, it must be remarked that the so called Brown Scapular of the Carmelites may be black, and that the bands of the Red Scapular of the Passion must be of red wool. On either or both of the woollen segments may be sewn or embroidered becoming representations or other decorations (emblems, names etc.) of a different material. It is only in the case of the Red Scapular that the images are expressly prescribed. Several scapulars may be attached to the same pair of strings or bands; each scapular must of course be complete, and must be attached to both bands. In many cases the five best-known of the early scapulars are attached to the same pair of bands this combination is then known as the "fivefold scapular". The five are: the Scapular of the Most Blessed Trinity, that of the Carmelites, of the Servites, of the Immaculate Conception, and the Red Scapular of the Passion. When the scapulars are thus joined together, the bands must be of red wool, as required by the Red Scapular; it is customary to wear the Red Scapular uppermost and that of the Most Blessed Trinity undermost, so that the images specially prescribed in the case of the Red, and the small red and blue cross on the Scapular of the Blessed Trinity, may be visible. Only at the original reception of any scapular is either the blessing or the investment with such by an authorized priest necessary. When a person needs a new scapular, he can put on an unblessed one. If the investment with a scapular be inseparably connected with reception into a confraternity, the reception and enrollment must take place on the same occasion as the blessing and investment. To share in the indulgences and privileges of a scapular, one must wear it constantly; it may be worn over or under one's clothing and may be laid aside for a short time, if necessary. Should one have ceased wearing the scapular for a long period (even through indifference), one gains none of the indulgences, during this time, but, by simply resuming the scapular, one again participates in the indulgences, privileges, etc. Every scapular, which is not merely an object of private devotion (for there are also such) but is also provided with an indulgence, must be approved by the ecclesiastical authorities, and the formula of blessing must be sanctioned by the Congregation of Rites. In this article we speak only of scapulars approved by the Church.


Since 1910 and the regulation of the Holy Office of 16 December of that year (Acta Apost. Sedis, III, 22 sq.) it is permitted to wear, instead of one or more of the small scapulars a single medal of metal. This medal must have on one side a representation of Jesus Christ with His Most Sacred Heart and on the other an image of the Mother of God. All persons who have been validly invested with a blessed woollen scapular may replace such by this medal. The medal must be blessed by a priest possessing the faculty to bless and invest with the scapular or scapulars which the medal is to replace. The faculties to bless these medals are subject to the same conditions and limitations as the faculties to bless and invest with the corresponding scapulars. If the medal is to be worn instead of a number of different scapulars, it must receive the blessing that would be attached to each of them, i. e. as many blessings as the number of scapulars it replaces. For each blessing a sign of the Cross suffices. This medal must also be worn constantly, either about the neck or in some other seemly manner, and with it may be attained all the indulgences and privileges of the small scapulars without exception. Only the small (not the large) scapulars may be validly replaced by such medals.


The Scapular of the Most Blessed Trinity

The small white scapular, provided with the blue and red cross, is the badge of the members of the Confraternity of The Most Blessed Trinity. To Innocent III, who sanctioned the Order of the Trinitarians on 28 January, 1198, an angel is said to have appeared wearing a white garment and on his breast a cross of which the transverse shaft was blue and the longitudinal shaft red. The Trinitarian re accordingly assigned this as their habit. When later the faithful sought to associate themselves more closely with their order in confraternities the Trinitarians gave them as their outward badge the scapular described above. The red and blue cross is essential only on the front segment of woollen cloth which hangs before the breast. Each person who joins the Confraternity of the Blessed Trinity must be invested with this scapular and must constantly wear it. The indulgences of this confraternity were last approved by a Decree of the Congregation of Indulgences of 13 August, 1899. The General of the Trinitarians may communicate to other priests the faculty of receiving into the confraternity and of blessing and investing with the scapular.

The Scapular of our Lady of Ransom (B. Maria V. de Mercede redemptionis captivorum)

Like the Trinitarians, the Fathers of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the Ransom of Prisoners give the faithful a special scapular on their entering the confraternity erected by them. The order was founded by St. Peter Nolasco (1256). The scapular is of white cloth, and bears on the front part, which hangs over the breast, the picture of Our Lady of Ransom. The other part consists simply of a smaller segment of white cloth. The summary of indulgences of the confraternity was last approved by the Congregation of Indulgences on 30 July, 1868 (Rescr. auth. S. C. Indulg., pp. 483 sqq., n. 36). The General of the Mercedarians communicates to other priests the faculty of receiving into the confraternity and of blessing and investing with the scapular. In the "Bullar. Ord. B. M. V. de Mercede" (Barcelona, 1696), p. 16, mention is made of a Constitution of Urban IV issued at Viterbo on 25 March, 1263 granting afresh to the laity who wear the scapular of the order (habitum nostrum) in the world many graces and indulgences. We do no more than record this circumstance exactly as it is related in the "Bullarium". However, the encyclical could not have been issued from Viterbo on 25 March, 1263, for Urban IV was at that time in Orvieto.

The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Also known as the Brown Scapular, this is the best known, most celebrated, and most widespread of the small scapulars. It is spoken of as "the Scapular", and the "feast of the Scapular" is that of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on 16 July. It is probably the oldest scapular and served as the prototype of the others. According to a pious tradition the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Simon Stock at Cambridge, England, on Sunday, 16 July, 1251. In answer to his appeal for help for his oppressed order, she appeared to him with a scapular in her hand and said: "Take, beloved son this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant". This tradition, however, appears in such a precise form for the first time in 1642, when the words of the Blessed Virgin were given in a circular of St. Simon Stock which he is said to have dictated to his companion secretary, and confessor, Peter Swanyngton. Although it has now been sufficiently shown that this testimony cannot be supported by historical documents, still its general content remains a reliable pious tradition; in other words, it is credible that St. Simon Stock was assured in a supernatural manner of the special protection of the Blessed Virgin for his whole order and for all who should wear the Carmelite habit, that the Blessed Virgin also promised him to grant special aid, especially in the hour of death, to those who in holy fidelity wore this habit in her honour throughout life, so that they should be preserved from hell. And, even though there is here no direct reference to the members of the scapular confraternity, indirectly the promise is extended to all who from devotion to the Mother of God should wear her habit or badge, like true Christians, until death, and be thus as it were affiliated to the Carmelite Order. Heretofore no authenticated testimony has been discovered proving that the small scapular was known from the second half of the thirteenth century and was given to the members of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. On the contrary there are many reasons for the view that the small scapular, as we now know it and in the form it has certainly had since the sixteenth century, is of much later origin. Zimmerman (Mon. hist. Carmelit.) and Saltet give very reasonable grounds for this view. In any case, the scapular was very widespread in European countries at the end of the sixteenth century, as is evident from "La cronica Carmelitana" of the Carmelite Joseph Falcone (Piacenza, 1595). In 1600 appeared at Palermo the "Giardino Carmelitano" of the Carmelite Egidio Leoindelicato da Sciacca (the approval is dated 1592). Towards the end the author gives after the formulas of benediction for the Fratelli and Sorelle della Compagnia della Madonna del Carmine (who receive the complete habit of the order) the formula for the blessing of the scapular for the Devoti della Compagnia Carrnelitana (pp. 239 sqq.). This is the earliest form of benediction for the small scapular with which we are acquainted. It is also noteworthy that the formula for the sisters contains no reference to the scapular, while in that for the brothers there is a special blessing for the scapular. Nevertheless, even should we admit that the small scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel originated even as late as the beginning of the sixteenth century, yet the above promise, which is designated the first privilege of the Carmelite Scapular, remains unimpaired. For this privilege declares nothing else than that all those who out of true veneration and love for the Blessed Virgin constantly wear the scapular in a spirit of fidelity and confiding faith, after they have been placed by the Church itself with this habit or badge under the special protection of the Mother of God, shall enjoy this special protection in the matter and crisis which most concerns them for time and eternity. Whoever, therefore, even though he be now a sinner, wears the badge of the Mother of God throughout life as her faithful servant, not presumptuously relying on the scapular as on a miraculous amulet, but trustfully confiding in the power and goodness of Mary, may securely hope that Mary will through her powerful and motherly intercession procure for him all the necessary graces for true conversion and for perseverance in good. Such is the meaning and importance of the first privilege of the Carmelite Scapular, which is wont to be expressed in the words: "whoever wears the scapular until death, will be preserved from hell". The second privilege of the scapular otherwise known as the Sabbatine privilege, may be briefly defined as meaning that Mary's motherly assistance for her servants in the Scapular Confraternity will continue after death, and will find effect especially on Saturday (the day consecrated to her honor), provided that the members fulfill faithfully the not easy conditions necessary for obtaining this privilege (see SABBATINE PRIVILEGE). As regards the external form of the scapular, it should consist of two segments of brown woollen cloth; black, however, is also admissible. This scapular usually bears on one side the image of our Lady of Mount Carmel, but neither this nor any other image is prescribed. The authentic list of indulgences privileges, and indults of the Scapular Confraternity of Mount Carmel was last approved on 4 July, 1908, by the Congregation of Indulgences. It is noteworthy that this summary says nothing of the above-mentioned first privilege; what it says of the Sabbatine privilege is explained in the article on that subject. Concerning the often miraculous protection which Mary on account of this her badge has granted to pious members of the Scapular Confraternity in great perils of soul and body, there exist many records and reliable reports (some of recent times), to which it is impossible to refuse credence. Like the rosary, this scapular has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.

The Black Scapular of the Seven Dolours of Mary

Shortly after Alexander IV had sanctioned the Servite Order in 1255, many of the faithful of either sex associated themselves with the order in ecclesiastical confraternities in honour of the Seven Dolours of Mary. The members of this Confraternity of the Seven Dolours of Mary also wore in later times a scapular which, like the habit of the order, had to be of black cloth. In other respects nothing is prescribed concerning this scapular, although it usually bears on the front portion (over the breast) an image of the Mother of Sorrows. This scapular must likewise be worn constantly, if one wishes to gain the indulgences of the confraternity. The summary of indulgences was last approved by the Congregation of Indulgences on 7 March, 1888. Priests may obtain from the General of the Servites the faculty to receive the faithful into the confraternity and to bless and invest with the scapular.

The Blue Scapular of the Immaculate Conception

The Venerable Ursula Benicasa, foundress of the Order of Theatine Nuns, relates in her autobiography how the habit which she and her sisters were to wear in honour of the Immaculate Conception was revealed to her in a vision. When Jesus Christ had in return promised great favours for her order, she begged the same graces for all the faithful who should devoutly wear a small sky-blue scapular in honour of the Immaculate Conception and to secure the conversion of sinners. Her petition having been granted she herself disseminated such scapulars, after they had been blessed by a priest. This devotion bore such rich fruits that Clement X by the Brief of 30 January, 1671, expressly granted the faculty to bless and invest with this scapular. Clement XI granted certain indulgences for the wearing of the scapular and succeeding popes increased the number. The summary was approved by the Congregation of Indulgences first in 1845 and finally on 26 August 1882 (Rescr. auth. S. C. Indulg., pp. 574 sqq., n. 57). Only the blue woollen cloth is essential and necessary. The scapular usually bears on one portion a symbolization of the Immaculate Conception and on the other the name of Mary. In 1894 a confraternity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin and Mother of God Mary was erected in the Theatine Church of S. Andrea della Valle at Rome. In the same year it was endowed with various indulgences, and then raised to an archconfraterity (cf. Analecta ecclesiastica, p. 189 sq.). According to the statutes of the confraternity admission is effected by the blessing and investing with the Blue Scapular, the presentation of the small chaplet of the Immaculate Conception, and the enrolling of the name in the register of the confraternity. However those who received the scapular before 18 September, 1894, are not obliged to have themselves enrolled in the confraternity. Similarly, priests who may have received the faculty only of blessing and investing with the scapular may continue to exercise it at present priests who receive this faculty from the General of the Theatines, receive simultaneously the faculty of admitting the faithful into the confraternity and must forward the names of those admitted to Rome or to some other canonically erected confraternity of this kind.

The Scapular of the Most Precious Blood

Priests who can receive the faithful into the Confraternity of the Precious Blood have also the faculty of blessing and investing these with this red scapular (or a red girdle). No special indulgences, however, are connected with the wearing of this scapular, and the wearing of it is left optional to the members of the confraternity. For the scapular it is prescribed only that it be of red cloth. The scapular as used in Rome bears on one portion a representation of the chalice with the Precious Blood adored by angels; the other segment which hangs at the back is simply a smaller portion of red cloth.

The Black Scapular of the Passion

It is related in the life of St. Paul of the Cross that before founding the Congregation of the Passionists he received in apparitions the black habit of the order with the badge on the breast. Later, after the foundation of the congregation, the Passionist Fathers gave the faithful who wished to associate themselves more closely with their order a black scapular in honour of the Passion of Christ. This bears an exact replica of the badge of the Passion, namely a heart above a cross, on which is written "Jesu XPI Passio" and below "sit semper in cordibus nostris". The other portion of the scapular hanging at the back, consists simply of a small segment of black woollen cloth. At various times indulgences have been granted to the faithful who wear this scapular, the Summary being last approved by the Congregation of Indulgences on 10 May, 1877. The Superior-General of the Passionists communicates to other priests the faculty to bless and invest with the scapular.

The Red Scapular of the Passion

This scapular owes its origin to an apparition which Jesus Christ vouchsafed to a Sister of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul is 1846. Jesus Christ showed the sister a scapular, such as is worn, and promised to all who should wear it on every Friday a great increase of faith, hope, and charity. The apparition having been several times repeated, and finally in the following year reported to Pius IX, the latter sanctioned the scapular by a Rescript of 25 June, 1847, and granted the Priests of the Mission (the Lazarists) the faculty of blessing the scapular and investing the faithful with it. He simultaneously granted many indulgences for the wearing of the scapular. The Superior-General of the Lazarists can communicate the faculty of blessing and investing with this scapular to other regular or secular priests. The scapular and bands must both be of red woollen material. On one woollen segment Jesus Christ is represented on the Cross; at the foot of the Cross are the implements of the Passion, and about it are the words: "Holy Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ Save us." On the other are represented the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and above these a cross with the inscription: "Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, protect us." These images also are essential to the scapular (Acta S. Sedis XXX, 748).

Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of "Help of the Sick"

In the Church of St. Magdalen at Rome, belonging to the Clerks Regular of St. Camillus, a picture of the Blessed Virgin is specially venerated under the title of Help of the Sick. This picture is said to have been painted by the celebrated Dominican painter, Fra Angelico da Fiesole and before it Pope St. Pius V is said to have prayed for the victory of the Christian fleet during the battle of Lepanto. This picture suggested to a brother of the Order of St. Camillus. Ferdinand Vicari, the idea of founding a confraternity under the invocation of the Mother of God for the poor sick. He succeeded in his plan, the confraternity being canonically erected in the above-mentioned church on 15 June, 1860. At their reception, the members are given a scapular of black woollen cloth; the portion over the breast is a copy of the above picture of the Mother of God and at her feet Sts. Joseph and Camillus, the two other patrons of the sick and of the confraternity. On the small segment at the back is sewed a little red cloth cross; although this receives separate and special blessing for the sick, it does not constitute an essential portion of the scapular. The scapular is the badge of the confraternity, which received its indulgences from Pius IX and Leo XIII in 1860 and 1883; these were last ratified by a Rescript of the Congregation of Indulgences, 21 July, 1883.

The Scapular of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

This scapular originated with the Sons of the lmmaculate Heart of Mary in 1877, and was sanctioned and endowed with indulgences by Pius IX on 11 May of that year. The scapular was later approved by the Congregation of Rites in 1907, and its form more exactly decreed; in the same year it was assigned new indulgences. The superiorgeneral of the above congregation can communicate to other priests the faculty of blessing and investing with this scapular ("Acta Pontificia", Rome, March 1911, appendix). The scapular is of white woollen cloth: on the portion which hangs before the breast is represented the burning heart of Mary, out of which grows a lily; the heart is encircled by a wreath of roses and pierced with a sword.

The Scapular of St. Michael the Archangel

While this scapular originated under Pius IX, who gave it his blessing, it was first formally approved under Leo XIII. In 1878 a confraternity in honour of St. Michael the Archangel w as founded in the Church of St. Eustachius at Rome, and in the following year in the Church of Sant' Angelo in Pescheria (Sancti Angeli in foro Piscium). In 1880 Leo XIII raised it to the rank of an archconfraternity, which was expressly called the Archconfraternity of the Scapular of St. Michael. At first (1878) the confraternity received indulgences from Leo XIII for seven years; the summary of indulgences of the Pious Association of St. Michael was last approved for ever by a Decree of the Congregation of Indulgences, 28 March, 1903. The scapular is so associated with the confraternity that each member is invested with it. The formula for blessing and investing with the scapular, given in the Rituale Romanum was first approved by the Congregation of Rites on 23 August, 1883. In outward form this scapular is different from the others, inasmuch as the two segments of cloth have the form of a small shield; of these one is made of blue and the other of black cloth, and of the bands likewise one is blue and the other black. Both portions of the scapular bear the well-known representation of the Archangel St. Michael slaying the dragon and the inscription "Quis ut Deus".

The Scapular of St. Benedict

To associate the faithful, who were not Oblates of St. Benedict, in a certain measure with the Benedictine Order, a confraternity of St Benedict was founded in the second half of the nineteenth century, at first by the English Congregation. Reception is effected by the enrollment of the members and investment with a small blessed scapular of black cloth. One of the segments usually has a picture of St. Benedict but no picture is necessary. The confraternity was endowed with indulgences in 1882 and 1883.

The Scapular of the Mother of Good Counsel

At the petition of the Augustinian monks this scapular was approved and endowed with indulgences by Leo XIII in a Decree of the Congregation of Rites of 19-21 December, 1893. The faculty of blessing and investing with the scapular belongs primarily to the Augustinian monks, but the General of the Augustinians communicates this privilege to other priests. The two segments of cloth must be of white wool, though the bands are usually a hit this is not. essential. The segment of cloth which hangs before the breast bears the image of the Mother of Good Counsel (after the well-known picture in the Augustinian church at Genazzano) with the inscription: "Mother of Good Counsel". On the other segment the papal arms (i. e., the tiara and the keys of Peter) with the inscription: "Son, follow her counsel. Leo III".

The Scapular of St. Joseph

This scapular was approved for the Diocese of Verona by a Decree of the Congregation of Rites of 8 July, 1880. On 15 April, 1898, Leo XIII granted to the General of the Capuchins the faculty of blessing and investing the faithful everywhere with this scapular. From the Diocese of St-Claude in France this scapular (at first white) was spread by the Capuchins (cf. Analecta ord. Min. Capuc., IX, 1893, pp. 161 sqq.); but it was later decreed that the shape and colour of that used in Verona should be used. Nevertheless, owing to a mistake, a slight difference crept in, and it was expressly declared later by the Congregation of Indulgences that the scapular might be lawfully retained in the form now customary among the Capuchins. In this form, the two segments of woollen cloth are of a violet colour; to these are sewed two pieces of gold-coloured material (linen, cotton, etc.) of equal size. On the gold-coloured segment before the breast is the representation of St. Joseph with the Child Jesus on his right arm and the staff of lilies in his left hand, while underneath is the inscription: "St. Joseph, patron of the Church, pray for us." On the other gold-coloured segment is represented the papal crown, the tiara, above it the dove as the symbol of the Holy Ghost, and underneath it a cross and the keys of Peter with the inscription: "Spiritus Domini ductor eius" (The Spirit of the Lord is his Guide). The bands are white. This scapular having been approved by the Congregation of Rites on 18 April, 1893, various indulgences were granted for all the faithful who wear it by a Rescript of the Congregation of Indulgences, 8 June, 1893 ("Acta S. Sedis", XXXIV, 317).

The Scapular of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

The constant wearing of a small picture of the Heart of Jesus was already recommended by Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque, who herself made and distributed them. They were made of a small piece of white woollen cloth, on which was embroidered or sewed in red a picture of the Heart of Jesus. This badge was especially employed during the plague at Marseilles as a protection against the pest. During the terrors of the French Revolution it also served as a s d for the pious faithful. Although this badge is often called a scapular, it is not really such; consequently the conditions governing scapulars do not apply to it. It was only in 1872 that an indulgence was granted by Pius IX for the wearing of this badge. A real scapular of the Sacred Heart was first introduced in France in 1876 when it was approved by Decree of the Congregation of Rites and a special formula for blessing and investing with it appointed 4 April, 1900. This scapular consists of two segments of white woollen cloth connected in the usual manner by two strings; one segment bears the usual representation of the Sacred Heart, while the other bears that of the Blessed Virgin under the title of Mother of Mercy. By a Brief of 10 July, Leo XIII granted many indulgences for the pious wearing of this scapular.

The Scapular of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

This is very similar to the Red Scapular of the Passion. Like the Scapulars of the Heart of Jesus, it was approved at the request of the Archbishop of Marseilles, by a Decree of the Congregation of Rites, 4 April, 1900. The two segments of cloth are of white wool, one bears the image of the Heart of Jesus with the well-known emblems and also the Heart of Mary pierced with a sword, underneath being the implements of the Passion; the other segment has a small cross of red material. Indulgences were granted for the wearing of this scapular in 1901, and increased by Pius X in 1906. The scapular owes its origin and spread to the Congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, founded at Antwerp in 1873 (Acta S. Sedis, XXXII, 633 sq.)

The Scapular of St. Dominic

On 23 November, 1903, this scapular was endowed by Pius X with an indulgence of 300 days in favour of all the faithful who wear it, as often as they devoutly kiss it. The scapular is thereby also approved. It is made of white wool, but the bands, as in the case of so many other scapulars may be of another material. No image is prescribed for the scapular, but the scapular given in the house of the Dominican General at Rome has on one side the picture of St. Dominic kneeling before the crucifix and on the other that of B. Reginald receiving the habit from the hands of the Mother of God. The General of the Dominicans communicates to other priests the faculty of blessing and investing with the scapular ("The Booklet of the Faculties", Rome, 1909).

The Scapular of the Holy Face.

This scapular bears on a piece of white cloth the well-known picture connected with St. Veronica. This scapular is worn by the members of the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face. The members can, however, wear the picture on a medal or cross, in place of the scapular. The wearing of this picture is simply one of the pious practices of the archconfraternity, without any special indulgences.


Transcribed by Michael C. Tinkler

In memory of Gloverdale Tarver Baker

Mount Carmel

A well-known mountain ridge in Palestine, usually called in the Hebrew Bible Hakkarmel (with the definite article), "the garden" or "the garden-land." In later Hebrew it is known simply as Karmel, and in modern Arabic as Kurmul, or more commonly as Jebel Mar Elias (Mountain of St. Elias). At its extremity, near the sea, Mount Carmel looks like a bold promontory which all but runs into the waves of the Mediterranean. This northwestern end of Carmel is about nine miles southwest of Acre, and in 32°50' N. lat. And 35° E. long. From this point, the ridge gradually retires from the coast and stretches southeast, ascending for about ten miles to its highest point and then sinking for nearly three miles more. Like its northern, its southern end is marked by a bold bluff above Wady el-Milh. This is the range of mountains which is usually designated under the name of Mount Carmel. The name is also applied at times to the lower hills which, for another twelve or thirteen miles, form the prolongation of the main range and extend to the southeast as far as the neighbourhood of Jenin. These lower hills, however, are of a softer formation than the main range of Carmel, and really separate it from the Hill Country, or central longitudinal section of Western Palestine. Hence they should rather be considered as forming a chain of heights distinct from Carmel, and be simply spoken of as hills of Samaria. The three principal summits of the main range of Carmel are far inferior in altitude to those of the mountains of either Galilee or Judea. Its highest peak, a little to the south of the Druse village of Esfiyeh, is only 1810 feet. Next in altitude comes the southeastern summit of Carmel, near the ruins called El Mahraka, and some 1700 feet high; and last, the northwestern promontory or cape of Carmel, where the Carmelite monastery is situated 560 feet above the sea. The general shape of the range is that of a triangle, the apex of which is near the Mediterranean, while the sides, to the east and west, look very different from each other. The western side sinks slowly by long ridges and dales upon that part of the sea-coast which is known as the plain of Saron. The eastern side, on the contrary, is abrupt above the plains of Haifa and Esdrelon, and in many places descends almost by precipices to the River Cison, which flows at the foot of the mountain and is generally parallel to its axis. Its geological structure is no other than that of the central longitudinal section of Palestine, west of the Jordan. It is made up of the same hard limestone. In it there are numerous caves, and it abounds in flints, geodes, and fossils. On the northeast, igneous rocks break out from a basalt formation which runs through the plain of Esdrelon and extends to the Sea of Galilee. As nearly the whole range of Carmel is covered with abundant and rich vegetable earth, it has still much of that appearance which no doubt was the origin of its name: "the garden" or "the garden land." Most of the ridge is covered with thickets of evergreens. Besides the pine, its most common trees are the prickly oak, myrtle, lentisk, carob and olive. Carmel is also remarkable for its profusion of aromatic plants and wild flowers. Its woody heights are tenanted chiefly by the roebuck, leopard, and wild cat. In various places of the range, ancient wine presses can still be pointed out; but the vine is almost entirely extinct except in the neighbourood of Esfiyeh and of the German colony which was established in 1869 near Haifa. Of its former numerous villages but a few are at present inhabited, and only small patches of land around these and near the sea-coast are now cultivated. Besides Esfiyeh, its principal extant villages are Et Tireh, Daliet El Kurmul, and Um Ez Zeinat. Most of the villagers are Druses and Christians. In the present day, Carmel belongs to the pashalic of Acre. Mt. Carmel is never mentioned in the New Testament; but it is oftentimes spoken of in the Old Covenant. Its conquest is referred to the time of Josue (xii, 22), and its territory is given as forming the southern boundary of the tribe of Aser (xix, 26). Its luxuriant verdure, chiefly caused by the vicinity of the Mediterranean Sea and by abundant dew, was regarded as singularly beautiful; hence the poetical comparison, "thy head is like Carmel", found in the Canticle of Canticles (vii, 5; Heb., vii, 6), and the distinct reference to the "beauty of Carmel" in Isaias (xxxv, 2). As Nabuchodonosor towered proudly above the kings of the earth, so Carmel was prominent above the sea (Jer., xlvi, 18). Its great fertility made it the type of a country which was favoured with the Divine blessing (Jer., 1, 19; Mich., vii, 14); and its devastation was conceived as the surest sign of God's severe punishment of His people (Is., xxxiii, 9; Jer., iv, 26; Amos, I, 2; Nah., I, 4). Its woody summits and its tortuous caverns formed a secure hiding place for a fugitive [Amos, ix, 3. See also III (A.V., I) K., xviii, 4, 13]. The sacredness of its heights was well known in ancient Israel. Apparently long before Elias' time-how long before cannot now be made out-an altar had been erected in honour of Yahweh on Mt. Carmel, and its ruins were repaired by that prophet as soon as this could be done with safety (III K., xviii, 30). It was the ridge of Carmel that the same Prophet Elias chose for the assembly of the people, such assemblies being usually held at some holy place (III K., xviii, 19 sq.). Again, in IV K., iv, 23, there is a manifest allusion to the custom or resorting to Carmel for the celebration of the new moon and of the sabbath. From various passages of Holy Writ it has been inferred that this sacred mountain was the actual place of residence of both Elias and Eliseus (Cf. IV K., ii, 25; iv, 25, 27, etc.); and, as a matter of fact, Elias grotto and the cavern known as the School of the Prophets are still pointed out. There is likewise some reason to believe that the incident tole of Elias in IV K., I, 9-15, took place on the mountain of Carmel. In this passage our English translation speaks indeed of the prophet as sitting down on "a hill", when he caused fire to come down from heaven on the two "fifties" and their respective captains who had been sent by King Ochosias to put him under arrest. But the rendering of the original Hebrew word by "a hill", which would naturally suggest a place different from the mountain range of Carmel, is very probably a defective one. The Hebrew expression rather means "the mountain" with an implicit reference to Mt. Carmel, since that expression, in connection with Elias, is used for that range only, with the exception of Sinai, which, of course, is not intended in IV K., I, 19-15. However this may be, there is another incident in Elias' life which Holy Writ distinctly places on the ridge of Carmel, and on account of which that mountain has been, and will ever be, particularly renowned. The event is narrated in detail in III K., xviii. It was that of a public contest between Elias, the great champion of Yahweh worship, and the prophets of Baal, the Phoenician deity whose cult had lately been fully organized by the wicked Achab in the new capital of the Northern Kingdom. For two years a severe drought, foretold by Elias, had prevailed in Israel. Yet it had not sufficed to convince the people that Yahweh, not Baal, was indeed the true God. In the third year, when the drought was about to be broken, Elias, according to the Lord's command, met King Achab, and obtained from him that all the people be gathered together with the prophets of Baal unto Mt. Carmel. There, in the presence of all, he, the only surviving prophet of the Lord, proposed that the God who would consume by fire a bullock laid upon wood and with no fire under it be alone recognized as God. The challenge was accepted. In vain did the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal call upon their sun-god till noon, nay even till the time of the evening sacrifice. It was now the turn of Elias. Having repaired an ancient altar of Yahweh by means of twelve stones, the prophet disposed the wood, laid a bullock upon it, and got filled with water the trench which he had dug around the whole. His prayer to Yahweh was heard. The fire from heaven consumed all, to the very water in the trench, and all the people seeing this worshipped, saying: "Yahweh is God. Yahweh is God." Then followed in rapid succession, the slaying of all the prophets of Baal who had been brought down to the brook Cison; Elias' prayer on the top of Carmel for rain and his repeated bidding to his servant: "Go up and look toward the sea"; the arising of a cloud, the forerunner of a violent storm; the king's prompt departure for Jezrahel, lest he should be stopped by the rain; and lastly, Elias' swift running before Achab to the entrance of Jezrahel. The scene marked out alike by tradition and by natural features as the place of this glorious victory of Yahweh and Elias over Baal and his prophets is the south-eastern extremity of Mt. Carmel, the part of the mountain nearest to, and most accessible from Jezrahel. The place now known as El Marahka, "the burning" or "the sacrifice", is very probably the spot on which stood the altar of Yahweh which Elias repaired. It is marked by shapeless ruins whither Druses of neighbouring villages come to perform a yearly sacrifice. Its position, at the south-eastern point of the ridge, easily allowed the altars thereon erected to be seen by Achab and the priests of Baal and the multitude who stood on a wide upland sweep close beneath it. Not far from it there is a well always supplied with water even in the driest seasons, from which Elias could draw the water with which he could fill the trench around his altar. On the lower declivities of the mountains is a mound called Tell El Kassis, which means "the hill of the priest", or "of the priests", which may mark the place where the prophets of Baal were put to death. The brook Cison which runs at the foot of Carmel was no doubt absolutely dry after the two years' drought, so that the multitude could easily go across its bed to witness Yahweh's victory on Mt. Carmel, and King Achab hasten across it to Jezrahel before the threatening storm should fill it with water and render it impassable. The corpses of the slain prophets of Baal were hurled down into the Cison, and when the brook was changed by the storm into an impetuous torrent, they were carried swiftly to the Mediterranean Sea. From the slaughter by the side of the river, the prophet of the Lord "went up" again to El Marahka, and there prayed fervently for the breaking of the drought. There, too, he naturally bade his servant to "go up and look toward the sea" for while from the place where he prayed the view of the Mediterranean is intercepted by an adjacent height, the height itself may be ascended in a few minutes and a full view of the sea be obtained from the top. Finally, both Achab and Elias having rushed down to the plain, safely crossed the Cison before the rain could interfere with them, because at this point the river is very close to Mt. Carmel. Thus it can readily be seen that the traditional site of the public contest between Elias and the prophets of Baal fulfils all the conditions required by the sacred narrative. The last Scriptural reference to the Carmel range is found in the opening chapter of the deutero-canonical book of Judith. There we find stated that the inhabitants of Carmel were numbered among the peoples of the Western districts whom Nabuchodonosor threatened with destruction, should they venture to deny him help in his present conflict with powerful enemies (Judith, I, 8, in Vulgate and in Septuagint). There also we are told that despite his menaces, they all, "with one mind", refused to obey his orders, whereupon the Assyrian king swore to avenge himself of them (Judith, I, 11, 12). In ancient times the sacredness of Carmel seems to have been known to other nations besides Israel. Thus in the list of places conquered by the Egyptian King Thothmes II, there is a probable reference at No. 48 to the "holy headland" of Carmel (See also Nos. 49, 96, in "Records of the Past", new series, V, 47, 50). In the fourth century B.C. the neo-Platonic philosopher Iamblicus, in his life of Pythagoras, speaks of Mt. Carmel as "sacred above all mountains and forbidden of access to the vulgar". The great Roman historian, Tacitus, mentions an altar as erected there without temple or image: "tantum ara et reverentia"; and Suetonius, in his "Lives of the Caesars", narrates that before making war against the Jews Vespasian went to Carmel and consulted the oracle of its god. After the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus (A.D. 70), the Jews did not lose sight of the mountain of Carmel and of its connection with Elias. In the twelfth century of our era Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela writes as follows in the narrative of his journey to Palestine: "Under the mountain of Carmel are many Jewish sepulchres, and near the summit is the cavern of Elias upon whom be peace. . . . On the summit of the hill, you may still trace the site of the altar which was rebuilt by Elias of blessed memory, in the time of King Achab, and the circumstances of which is about four yards". Rabbis of the thirteenth and following centuries make similar references to Elias in connection with Mt. Carmel; and it is well known that in the eighteenth century the Jews used to join with the Mohammedans and the Christians to celebrate the feast of that holy prophet on the mountain which bears his name, "Jebel Mâr Elîas". As we have seen, the traditional site of Elias' contest is still held sacred by the Druses. But it is Christianity which, through its pious pilgrims and its Carmelite monks, has chiefly contributed to preserve the sacred memories of Mt. Carmel. The best positions from which to view the extensive prospect are furnished by the flat roof of the Carmelite monastery at the north-western end of the mountain, and by the platform of the chapel recently erected by the Carmelites at its south-eastern extremity.

WRIGHT, "Early Travels in Palestine" (London, 1848); ROBINSON, "Biblical Researches" (Boston, 1841), III; GUERIN, "Description de la Palestine, etc."

(Paris, 1876), II; CONDER, "Tent Work in Palestine" (London, 1889); THOMSON, "The Land and the Book" (New York, 1882), II; SMITH, "Hist. Geogr. Of the Holy Land" (New York, 1906). FRANCIS E. GIGOT Transcribed


The Text of Carmel's Mitigated Rule

Albert, called by God's favour to be patriarch of the church of Jerusalem, bids health in the Lord and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to his beloved sons in Christ, B. and the other hermits under obedience to him, who live near the spring on Mount Carmel. Many and varied are the ways in which our saintly forefathers laid down how everyone, whatever his station or the kind of religious observance he has chosen, should live a life of alegiance to Jesus Christ-how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of his Master. It is to me, however, that you have come for a rule of life in keeping with your avowed purpose, a rule you may hold fast to henceforward; and therefore:

Chapter I

The first thing I require is for you to have a prior, one of yourselves, who is to be chosen for the office by common consent, or that of the greater and maturer part of you. Each of the others must promise him obedience-of which, once promised, he must try to make his deeds the true reflection-and also chastity and the renunciation of ownership.

Chapter II

If the prior and brothers see fit, you may have foundations in solitary places, or where you are given a site that is suitable and convenient for the observance proper to your Order.

Chapter III

Next, each one of you is to have a separate cell, situated as the lie of the land you propose to occupy may dictate, and allotted by disposition of the prior with the agreement of the other brothers, or the more mature among them.

Chapter IV

However, you are to eat whatever may have been given you in a common refectory, listening together meanwhile to a reading from Holy Scripture where that can be done without difficulty.

Chapter V

None of the brothers is to occupy a cell other than that allotted to him or to exchange cells with another, without leave or whoever is prior at the time.

Chapter VI

The prior's cell should stand near the entrance to your property, so that he may be the first to meet those who approach, and whatever has to be done in consequence may all be carried out as he may decide and order.

Chapter VII

Each one of you is to stay in his own cell or nearby, pondering the Lord's law day and night and keeping watch at his prayers unless attending to some other duty.

Chapter VIII

Those who know how to say the canonical hours with those in orders should do so, in the way those holy forefathers of ours laid down, and according to the Church's approved custom. Those who do not know the hours must say twenty-five Our Fathers for the night office, except on Sundays and solemnities when that number is to be doubled so that the Our Father is said fifty times; the same prayer must be said seven times in the morining in place of Lauds, and seven times too for each of the other hours, except for Vespers when it must be said fifteen times.

Chapter IX

None of the brothers must lay claim to anything as his own, but you are to possess everything in common; and each is to receive from the prior-that is from the brother he appoints for the purpose-whatever benefits his age and needs. You may have as many asses and mules as you need, however, and may keep a certain amount of livestock or poultry.

Chapter X

An oratory should be built as conveniently as possible among the cells, where, if it can be done without difficulty, you are to gather each morning to hear Mass.

Chapter XI

On Sundays too, or other days if necessary, you should discuss matters of discipline and your spiritual welfare; and on this occasion the indiscretions and failings of the brothers, if any be found at fault, should be lovingly corrected.

Chapter XII

You are to fast every day, except Sundays, from the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross until Easter Day, unless bodily sickness or feebleness, or some other good reason, demand a dispensation from the fast; for necessity overrides every law.

Chapter XIII

You are to abstain from meat, except as a remedy for sickness or feebleness. But as, when you are on a journey, you more often than not have to beg your way; outside your own houses you may eat foodstuffs that have been cooked with meat, so as to avoid giving trouble to your hosts. At sea, however, meat may be eaten.

Chapter XIV

Since man's life on earth is a time of trial, and all who would live devotedly in Christ must undergo persecution, and the devil your foe is on the prowl like a roaring lion looking for prey to devour, you must use every care to clothe yourselves in God's armour so that you may be ready to withstand the enemy's ambush. Your loins are to be girt with chastity, your breast fortified by holy meditations, for, as Scrupture has it, holy meditation will save you. Put on holiness as your breastplate, and it will enable you to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength, and your neighbour as yourself. Faith must be your shield on all occasions, and with it you will be able to quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked one: there can be no pleasing God without faith; [and the victory lies in this-your faith]. On your head set the helmet of salvation, and so be sure of deliverance by our only Saviour, who sets his own free from their sins. The sword of the spirit, the word of God, must abound in your mouths and hearts. Let all you do have the Lord's word for accompaniment.

Chapter XV

You must give yourselves to work of some kind, so that the devil may always find you busy; no idleness on your part must give him a chance to pierce the defences of your souls. In this respect you have both the teaching and the example of Saint Paul the Apostle, into whose mouth Christ put his own words. God made him preacher and teacher of faith and truth to the nations: with him as your leader you cannot go astray. We lived among you, he said, labouring and wary, toiling night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you; not because we had no power to do otherwise but so as to give you, in your own selves, an example you might imitate. For the charge we gave you when we were with you was this: that woever is not willing to work should not be allowed to eat either. For we have heard that there are certain restless idlers among you. We charge people of this kind, and implore them in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they earn their own bread by silent toil. This is the way of holiness and goodness: see that you follow it.

Chapter XVI

The Apostle would have us keep silence, for in silence he tells us to work. As the Prophet also makes known to us: Silence is the way to foster holiness. Elsewhere he says: Your strength will lie in silence and hope. For this reason I lay down that you are to keep silence from after Compline until after Prime the next day. At other times, although you need not keep silence so strictly, be careful not to indulge in a great deal of talk, for, as Scripture has it-and experience teaches us no less-sin will not be wanting where there is much talk, and he wo is careless in speech will come to harm; and elsewhere: The use of many words brings harm to the speaker's soul. And our Lord says in the Gospel: Every rash word uttered will have to be accounted for on judgement day. Make a balance then, each of you, to weigh his words in; keep a tight rein on your mouths, lest you should stumble and fall in speech, and your fall be irreparable and prove mortal. Like the Prophet, watch your step lest your tongue give offence, and employ every care in keeping silent, which is the way to foster holiness.

Chapter XVII

You, brother B., and whoever may succeed you as prior, must always keep in mind and put into practice what our Lord said in the Gospel: Whoever has a mind to become a leader among you must make himself servant to the rest, and whichever of you would be first must become your bondsman.

Chapter XVIII

You, other brothers too, hold your prior in humble reverence, your minds not on him but on Christ who has placed him over you, and who, to those who rule the Churches, addressed the words: Whoever pays you heed pays heed to me, and whoever treats you with dishonour dishonours me; if you remain so minded you will not be found guilty of contempt, but will merit life eternal as fit reward for your obedience. Here then are the few points I have written down to provide you with a standard of counduct to live up to; but our Lord, at his second coming will reward anyone who does more than he is obliged to do. See that the bounds of common sense are not exceeded, however, for common sense is the guide of the virtues. Given at Lyons, in the year of the Lord 1247, the fifth year of Pope Innocent IV, on the first of September. No one may lawfully destroy this document... Given at Lyons of the first of October in the fifth year of our pontificate. From The


Rule of Carmel by Carlo Cicconetti, O.Carm., J.C.D. Translated by Gabriel Pausback, O.Carm. Edited and abridged by Paul Hoban, O.Carm. Carmelite Spiritual Center, 1984.


The Carmelite Order

One of the mendicant orders.


The date of the foundation of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has been under discussion from the fourteenth century to the present day, the order claiming for its founders the prophets Elias and Eliseus, whereas modern historians, beginning with Baronius, deny its existence previous to the second half of the twelfth century. As early as the times of the Prophet Samuel there existed in the Holy Land a body of men called Sons of the Prophets, who in many respects resembled religious institutes of later times. They led a kind of community life, and, though not belonging to the Tribe of Levi, dedicated themselves to the service of God; above all they owed obedience to certain superiors, the most famous of whom were Elias and his successor Eliseus, both connected with Carmel, the former by his encounter with the prophets of Baal, the latter by prolonged residence on the holy mountain. With the downfall of the Kingdom of Israel the Sons of the Prophets disappear from history. In the third or fourth century of the Christian Era Carmel was a place of pilgrimage, as is proved by numerous Greek inscriptions on the walls of the School of the Prophets: "Remember Julianus, remember Germanicus", etc. Several of the Fathers, notably John Chrystostom, Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, and Jerome, represent Elias and Eliseus as the models of religious perfection and the patrons of hermits and monks. These undeniable facts have opened the way to certain conjectures. As St. John the Baptist spent nearly the whole of his life in the desert, where he gathered around him a number of disciples, and as Christ said he was endowed with the spirit and virtue of Elias, some authors think that he revived the institute of the Sons of the Prophets. The glowing descriptions given by Pliny, Flavius Josephus, and Philo, of the manner of life of the Essenes and Therapeutes convinced others that these sects belonged to the same corporation; unfortunately their orthodoxy is open to serious doubts. Tacitus mentions a sanctuary on Carmel, consisting "neither of a temple, nor an idol, but merely an altar for Divine worship"; whatever its origin may have been, it certainly was at the time of Vespasian in the hands of a pagan priest, Basilides. Pythagoras (500 B.C.) is represented by Jamblichus (A.D. 300) as having spent some time in silent prayer in a similar sanctuary on Carmel, a testimony of greater force for the time of Jambilichus himself than for that of Pythagoras. Nicephorus Callistus (A.D. 1300) relates that the Empress Helena built a church in honour of St. Elias on the slopes of a certain mountain. This evidence is, however, inadmissible, inasmuch as Eusebius is witness to the fact that she built only two churches in the Holy Land, at Bethlehem and at Jerusalem, not twenty, as Nicephorus says; moreover the words of this author show clearly that he had in view the Greek monastery of Mar Elias, overhanging the Jordan valley, and not Carmel as some authors think; Mar Elias, however, belongs to the sixth century. These and other misunderstood quotations have enfeebled rather than strengthened the tradition of the order, which holds that from the days of the great Prophets there has been, if not an uninterrupted, at least a moral succession of hermits on Carmel, first under the Old Dispensation, afterwards in the full light of Christianity, until at the time of the Crusades these hermits became organized after the fashion of the Western orders. This tradition is officially laid down in the constitutions of the order, is mentioned in many papal Bulls, as well as in the Liturgy of the Church, and is still held by many members of the order. The silence of Palestine pilgrims previous to A.D. 1150, of chroniclers, of early documents, in one word the negative evidence of history has induced modern historians to disregard the claims of the order, and to place its foundation in or about the year 1155 when it is first spoken of in documents of undoubted authenticity. Even the evidence of the order itself was not always very explicit. A notice written between 1247 and 1274 (Mon. Hist. Carmelit., 1, 20, 267) states in general terms that "from the days of Elias and Eliseus the holy fathers of the Old and the New Dispensation dwelt on Mount Carmel, and that their successors after the Incarnation built there a chapel in honour of Our Lady, for which reason they were called in papal Bulls "Friars of Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel". The General Chapter of 1287 (unedited) speaks of the order as of a plantation of recent growth (plantatio novella). More definite are some writings of about the same time. A letter "On the progress of his Order" ascribed to St. Cyril of Constantinople, but written by a Latin (probably French) author about the year 1230, and the book "On the Institution of the First Monks" connect the order with the Prophets of the Old Law. This latter work, mentioned for the first time in 1342, was published in 1370 and became known in England half a century later. It purports to be written by John, the forty-fourth (more accurately the forty-second) Bishop of Jerusalem (A.D. 400). However, as Gennadius and other ancient bibliographers do not mention it among the writings of John, and as the author was clearly a Latin, since his entire argument is based upon certain texts of the Vulgate differing widely from the corresponding passages of the Septuagint, and as he in many ways proves his entire ignorance of the Greek language, and, moreover, quotes or alludes to writers of the twelfth century, he cannot have lived earlier than the middle of the thirteenth. A third author is sometimes mentioned, Joseph, a Deacon of Antioch, whom Possevin assigns to about A.D. 130. His work is lost but its very title, "Speculum perfectæ militæ primitivæ ecclesiæ", proves that he cannot have belonged to the Apostolic Fathers, as indeed he is entirely unknown to patristic literature. His name is not mentioned before the fourteenth century and in all probability he did not live much earlier. The tradition of the order, while admitted by many of the medieval Schoolmen, was contested by not a few authors. Hence the Carmelite historians neglected almost completely the history of their own times, spending all their energy on controversial writings, as is evident in the works of John Baconthorpe, John of Chimeneto, John of Hildesheim, Bernard Olerius, and many others. In 1374 a disputation was held before the University of Cambridge between the Dominican John Stokes and the Carmelite John of Horneby; the latter, whose arguments were chiefly taken from canon law, not from history, was declared victorious and the members of the university were forbidden to question the antiquity of the Carmelite Order. Towards the end of the fifteenth century this was again ably defended by Trithemius (or whoever wrote under his name), Bostius, Palæonydorus, and many others who with a great display of learning strove to strengthen their thesis, filling in the gaps in the history of the order by claiming for it numerous ancient saints. Sts. Eliseus and Cyril of Alexandria (1399), Basil (1411), Hilarion (1490), and Elias (in some places c. 1480, in the whole order from 1551) had already been placed on the Carmelite calendar; the chapter of 1564 added many more, some of whom were dropped out twenty years later on the occasion of a revision of the Liturgy, but were reintroduced in 1609 when Cardinal Bellarmine acted as reviser of Carmelite legends. He, too, approved with certain reservations the legend of the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 16 July, which had been instituted between 1376 and 1386 in commemoration of the approbation of the rule by Honorius III; it now (1609) became the "Scapular feast", was declared the principal feast of the order, and was extended to the whole Church in 1726. The tendency of claiming for the order saints and other renowned persons of Christian and even classical antiquity came to a climax in the "Paradisus Carmelitici decoris" by M. A. Alegre de Casanate, published in 1639, condemned by the Sorbonne in 1642, and placed on the Roman Index in 1649. Much that is uncritical may also be found in the annals of the order by J.-B. de Lezana (1645-56) and in "Decor Carmeli" by Philip of the Blessed Trinity (1665). On the publication, in 1668, of the third volume of March of the Bollandists, in which Daniel Papebroch asserted that the Carmelite Order was founded in 1155 by St. Berthold, there arose a literary war of thirty years' duration and almost unequaled violence. The Holy See, appealed to by both sides, declined to place the Bollandists on the Roman Index, although they had been put on the Spanish Index, but imposed silence on both parties (1698). On the other hand it permitted the erection of a statue of St. Elias in the Vatican Basilica among the founders of orders (1725), towards the cost of which (4064 scudi or $3942) each section of the order contributed one fourth part. At the present time the question of the antiquity of the Carmelite Order has hardly more than academical interest.

Foundations in Palestine

The Greek monk John Phocas who visited the Holy Land in 1185 relates that he met on Carmel a Calabrian (i.e. Western) monk who some time previously, on the strength of an apparition of the Prophet Elias, had gathered around him about ten hermits with whom he led a religious life in a small monastery near the grotto of the prophet. Rabbi Benjamin de Tudela had already in 1163 reported that the Christians had built there a chapel in honour of Elias. Jacques de Vitry and several other writers of the end of the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth centuries give similar accounts. The exact date of the foundation of the hermitage may be gathered from the life of Aymeric, Patriarch of Antioch, a relative of the "Calabrian" monk, Berthold; on the occasion of a journey to Jerusalem in 1154 or the following year he appears to have visited the latter and assisted him in the establishment of the small community; it is further reported that on his return to Antioch (c. 1160) he took with him some of the hermits, who founded a convent in that town and another on a neighbouring mountain; both were destroyed in 1268. Under Berthold's successor, Brocard, some doubts arose as to the proper form of life of the Carmelite hermits. The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Albert de Vercelli, then residing at Tyre, settled the difficulty by writing a short rule, part of which is literally taken from that of St. Augustine (c. 1210). The hermits were to elect a prior to whom they should promise obedience; they were to live in cells apart from one another, where they had to recite the Divine Office according to the Rite of the church of the Holy Sepulchre, or, if unable to read, certain other prayers, and to spend their time in pious meditation varied by manual labour. Every morning they met in chapel for Mass, and on Sundays also for chapter. They were to have no personal property; their meals were to be served in their cells; but they were to abstain from flesh meat except in cases of great necessity, and they had to fast from the middle of September until Easter. Silence was not to be broken between Vespers and Terce of the following day, while from Terce till Vespers they were to guard against useless talk. the prior was to set a good example by humility, and the brothers were to honour him as the representative of Christ.

Migration to Europe

As will be seen from this short abstract no provision was made for any further organization beyond the community on Carmel itself, whence it must be inferred that until 1210 no other foundation had been made except those at and near Antioch, which were probably subject to the patriarch of that city. After that date new communities sprang up at Saint Jean d'Acre, Tyre, Tripoli, Jerusalem, in the Quarantena, somewhere in Galilee (monasterium Valini), and in some other localities which are not known, making in all about fifteen. Most of these were destroyed almost as soon as they were built, and at least in two of them some of the brothers were put to death by the Saracens. Several times the hermits were driven from Carmel, but they always found means to return; they even built a new monastery in 1263 (in conformity with the revised rule) and a comparatively large church, which was still visible towards the end of the fifteenth century. However, the position of Christians had become so precarious as to render emigration necessary. Accordingly colonies of hermits were sent out to Cyprus, Sicily, Marseilles, and Valenciennes (c. 1238). Some brothers of English nationality accompanied the Barons de Vescy and Grey on their return journey from the expedition of Richard, Earl of Cornwall (1241), and made foundations at Hulne near Alnwick in Northumberland, Bradmer (Norfolk), Aylesford, and Newenden (Kent). St. Louis, King of France, visited Mount Carmel in 1254 and brought six French hermits to Charenton near Paris where he gave them a convent. Mount Carmel was taken by the Saracens in 1291, the brothers, while singing the Salve Regina, were put to the sword, and the convent was burnt.

Character and Name

With the migration of the Carmelites to Europe begins a new period in the history of the order. Little more than the bare names of the superiors of the first period has come down to us: St. Berthold, St. Brocard, St. Cyril, Berthold (or Bartholomew), and Alan (1155-1247). At the first chapter held at Aylesford, St. Simon Stock was elected general (1247-65). As the oldest biographical notice concerning him dates back only to 1430 and is not very reliable, we must judge the man from his works. He found himself in a difficult position. Although the rule had been granted about 1210 and had received papal approbation in 1226, many prelates refused to acknowledge the order, believing it to be founded in contravention of the Lateran Council (1215) which forbade the institution of new orders. In fact the Carmelite Order as such was only approved by the Second Council of Lyons (1274), but St. Simon obtained from Innocent IV an interim approbation, as well as certain modifications of the rule (1247). Henceforth foundations were no longer restricted to deserts but might be made in cities and the suburbs of towns; the solitary life was abandoned for community life; meals were to be taken in common; the abstinence, though not dispensed with, was rendered less stringent; the silence was restricted to the time between Compline and Prime of the following day; donkeys and mules might be kept for traveling and the transport of goods, and fowls for the needs of the kitchen. Thus the order ceased to be cremitical and became one of the mendicant orders. Its first title, Fratres eremitæ de Monte Carmeli, and, after the building of a chapel on Carmel in honour of Our Lady (c. 1220), Eremitæ Sanctæ Mariæ de Monte Carmeli, was now changed into Fratres Ordinis Beatissimæ Virginis Mariæ de Monte Carmeli. By an ordinance of the Apostolic Chancery of 1477 it was further amplified, Fratres Ordinis Beatissimæ Dei Genitricus semperque Virginis Mariæ de Monte Carmeli, which title was rendered obligatory by the General Chapter of 1680. Having obtained the mitigation of the rule, St. Simon Stock, who was altogether in favour of the active life, opened houses at Cambridge (1249), Oxford (1253), London (about the same time), York (1255), Paris (1259), Bologna (1260), Naples (date uncertain), etc. He strove especially to implant the order at the universities, partly to secure for the religious the advantages of a higher education, partly to increase the number of vocations among the undergraduates. Although the zenith of the mendicant orders had already passed he was successful in both respects. The rapid increase of convents and novices, however, proved dangerous; the rule being far stricter than those of St. Francis and St. Dominic, discouragement and discontent seized many of the brothers, while the bishops and the parochial clergy continued to offer resistance to the development of the order. He died a centenarian before peace was fully restored. With the election of Nicholas Gallicus (1265-71) a reaction set in; the new general, being much opposed to the exercise of the sacred ministry, favoured exclusively the contemplative life. To this end he wrote a lengthy letter entitled "Ignea sagitta" (unedited) in which he condemned in greatly exaggerated terms what he called the dangerous occupations of preaching and hearing confessions. His words remaining unheeded, he resigned his office, as did also his successor, Radulphus Alemannus (1271-74), who belonged to the same school of thought.



The approbation of the order by the Second Council of Lyons secured its permanent position among the mendicant orders, sanctioned the exercise of the active life, and removed every obstacle to its development, which thenceforth went on by leaps and bounds. Under Peter de Millaud (1274-94) a change was made in the habit. Hitherto it had consisted of a tunic, girdle, scapular, and hood of either black, brown or grey colour (the colour became subject to numberless changes according to the different subdivisions and reforms of the order), and of a mantle composed of four white and three black vertical stripes or rays, whence the friars were popularly called Fratres barrati, or virgulati, or de pica (magpie). In 1287 this variegated mantle was exchanged for one of pure white wool which caused them to be called Whitefriars. The Thirteenth Century Besides the generals already mentioned, the thirteenth century saw two saints of the order, Angelus and Albert of Sicily. Very little is known of the former, his biography, purporting to be written by his brother Enoch, Patriarch of Jerusalem, being a work of the fifteenth century; in those portions in which it can be controlled by contemporary evidence it is proved to be unreliable, e.g. when it establishes a whole Greek hierarchy at Jerusalem during the period of the Crusades; or when it gives the acts of an apocryphal Council of Alexandria together with the names of seventy bishops supposed to have taken part in it. These and some other particulars being altogether unhistorical, it is difficult to say how much credence it deserves in other matters for which there is no independent evidence. It is, however, worthy of notice that the Breviary lessons from 1458, when the feast of St. Angelus first appears, until 1579 represent him simply as a Sicilian by birth and say nothing of his Jewish descent, his birth and conversion at Jerusalem, etc. Nor is there any positive evidence as to the time when he lived or the year and cause of his martyrdom. According to some sources he was put to death by heretics (probably Manichæans), but, according to later authors, by a man whom he had publicly reproved for grave scandal. Again, the oldest legends of St. Francis and St. Dominic say nothing of a meeting of the three saints in Rome or their mutual prophecies concerning the stigmata, the rosary, and the martyrdom. The life of St. Albert, too, was written a long time after his death by one who had no personal recollection of him and was more anxious to edify the reader by an account of numerous miracles (frequently in exaggerated terms), than to state sober facts. All that can be said with certainty is that St. Albert was born in Sicily, entered the order very young, in consequence of a vow made by his parents, that for some time he occupied the position of provincial, and that he died in the odour of sanctity on 7 August, 1306. Though he was never formally canonized, his feast was introduced in 1411.


Foundations in the British Isles

The English province, to which the Irish and Scottish houses belonged until 1305, made rapid progress until about the middle of the fourteenth century, after which date foundations became less numerous, while from time to time some of the smaller houses were given up. The Carmelites enjoyed the favour of the Crown, which contributed generously towards several foundations, particularly that of Oxford, where the royal residence was handed over to the order. The site is now occupied by the Beaufort Hotel, but there may still be seen Friars' Walk, and the little church of St. Mary Magdalen which for a time was served by the Carmelites. Other royal foundations were Hitchin, Marlborough, etc. John of Gaunt was a great benefactor of the order and chose his confessors from amongst its members; the House of Lancaster likewise almost always had Carmelites as royal confessors, a post which corresponded to some extent to that of royal almoner or minister of public worship. These confessors were as a rule promoted to small bishoprics in Ireland or Wales. The order became very popular among the people. The life was one of deep poverty, as is proved by various inventories of goods and other documents still extant. During the Wycliffite troubles the order took the leadership of the Catholic party, the first opponent of Wyclif being the Provincial of the Carmelites, John Cunningham. Thomas Walden was entrusted by Henry V with important missions abroad, and accompanied Henry VI to France. During the wars with France several French convents were attached to the English province, so that the number of English Carmelites rose to fifteen hundred. But ultimately there remained only the house at Calais, which was suppressed by Henry VIII. At the end of the fifteenth century the province had dwindled down to about six hundred religious. None of the various reforms seems to have been introduced into England, although Eugene IV and the general, John Soreth, took steps in this direction. The peculiar constitutions in vigour in England, and the excellent organization of the province rendered the spread of abuses less to be feared than elsewhere. At the beginning of the Reformation a number of the junior religious, affected by the new learning, left the order; the remainder were compelled to sign the Act of Supremacy, which they apparently did without hesitation, a fact not much to be wondered at if it be borne in mind that Cardinal Wolsey had already obtained power from the Holy See to visit and reform the Carmelite convents, a measure which left no alternative but blind submission to the royal will or suppression. Separated from the rest of the order, the Carmelites were for a time subjected to the rule of George Brown, general of all the mendicants, but gained a comparative independence under John Byrd, first provincial and then general of the English section of the order. At the time of the final suppression there were thirty-nine houses, including that of Calais. The suppression papers are very far from complete, exhibiting the names of only about 140 religious, and containing the inventories of less than a dozen houses. These were in a state of abject poverty. At Oxford the friars had been obliged to sell the benches of the church and the trees in the road, and the commissioners stated that soon they would have to sell the tiles off the roof, to buy a few loaves of bread. Yet one of the novices, Anthony Foxton, nothing daunted by this trying situation, fled to Northallerton to continue his novitiate, whence a few weeks later he was expelled for the second time. The property of the order was squandered with the same recklessness as other ecclesiastical goods. The library of the London house, considered one of the finest in England (this applies in all probability to the building, not to its contents, which bear no comparison with other monastic libraries of that period), came into the possession of Dr. Butt. The other buildings were sold in parcels. Only two Carmelites are known to have suffered death, Lawrence Cook and Reginald Pecock; others seem to have recanted in prison. But as practically nothing is known of the fate of a large number of convents, especially those of the North, it is more than probable that during the different risings some were burnt and their inmates hanged. Among the few remains of the English Carmelite convents must be mentioned the first two foundations, Hulne, now a ruin, and Aylesford, in a fairly good state of preservation, and also the beautiful cloister in what is now the workhouse for male paupers at Coventry. An attempt to revive the English province during the reign of Queen Mary was unsuccessful. The history of the Irish and Scottish provinces has never been exhaustively studied, owing chiefly to the loss of many documents. The total number of Irish convents is variously given as twenty-five or twenty-eight, but in all probability some of these had but a short-lived existence. The fact that the general chapters repeatedly appointed Englishmen as provincials for Ireland seems to indicate that the province was frequently troubled by disunion and strife. At an early epoch the Dublin house was designated a studium generale, but as it is never mentioned as such in the official lists it probably served only for the Irish students, foreign provinces not being required to send their contingent. For the pursuit of higher studies special faculties were given to the Irish and Scottish in London and at the English universities. The Irish convents fell without exception under the iron hand of Henry VIII. The Scottish province numbered at the utmost twelve convents, of which that of South Queensferry at the foot of the Forth Bridge is still extant. Here again we have to content ourselves with stray notices, from which, however, it is manifest that the order was in high favour with the Crown. Some Scottish Carmelites played an important part at the University of Paris, while others were among the chief promoters of the Reform of Albi. At the suppression of the English convents many religious betook themselves to Scotland where convents were allowed to exist as best they could until 1564.



The oldest constitutions that have come down to us are dated 1324, but there is evidence of a former collection begun about 1256 to supplement the rule, which lays down only certain leading principles. In 1324 the order was divided into fifteen provinces corresponding to the countries in which it was established. At the head of the order was the general, elected in open scrutinium (ballot) by the general chapter; at each successive chapter he had to render an account of his administration and if no serious complaints were made he was confirmed in his office until he was removed by the nomination to a bishopric, or by death, or until he resigned of his own accord. He chose his own residence which from 1472 was usually Rome. He was given two companions (generally of his own choice) to accompany him on his journeys and to assist him with advice. The whole order contributed annually a fixed amount towards the maintenance of the general and the costs of the administration. In theory, at least, the power of the general was almost unlimited but in practice he could not afford to disregard the wishes of the provinces and provincials. The general chapter assembled fairly regularly every third year from 1247 to the end of the fourteenth century; but from that period onward the intervals became much longer, six, ten, even sixteen years. The chapters had become a heavy burden, not only for the order but also for the towns which accorded them hospitality. Each province (their number was constantly increasing) was represented by the provincial and two companions. In addition to these there was a gathering of masters in divinity and promising students who held theological disputations, while the definitors discussed the affairs of the order; as the Holy See usually granted indulgences on the occasion of chapters, the pulpits of the cathedral and parochial and conventional churches were occupied several times a day by eloquent preachers; traveling being performed on horseback, each province sent a number of lay brothers to care for the horses. Thus the general chapters were always attended by large numbers of friars, from five hundred to a thousand and more. To defray the costs each provincial was bound to ask his sovereign for a subsidy, the English Crown as a rule contributing ten pounds, while board and lodging for the members of the chapter were found in other religious houses and among the townspeople. In return the order used to grant the town letters of fraternity and to place its patron saints on the Carmelite calendar. For the election of the general all the provincials and their companions assembled, but the remaining business was entrusted to the definitors, one for each province; these were chosen at the provincial chapter in such a way that no one could act in this capacity in two successive chapters. The duty of the definitors was to receive reports on the administration of the provinces; to confirm provincials or to depose them, and elect the annual taxation; to nominate those who were to lecture on Scripture and the Sentences at the universities, especially Paris; to grant permission for the reception of academical honours at the expense of the whole order; to revise and interpret existing laws and add new ones; and finally, to grant privileges to deserving members, deal with those guilty of serious offenses by meting out adequate punishment, or, if cause were shown for leniency, by relaxing or condoning previous sentences. This done, the whole chapter was again called together, he decisions of the definitors were published and


handed in writing to each provincial. Of the records of the earlier chapters only fragments are now to be found, but from 1318 the acts are complete and have partly been printed.


The provincial chapters were held as a rule once a year, but there were complaints that some provincials held only two in three years. Each convent was represented by the prior or vicar and by one companion elected by the conventual chapter to take complaints against the prior. Out of the whole number of capitulars four definitors were chosen who together with the provincial performed much the same duties on behalf of the province as did the definitory of the general chapter on behalf of the whole order. Among other things they had full authority to depose priors and to elect new ones; they also selected students to be sent to the various studia generalia and particularia, and to the universities, and made adequate provision for their expenses. They decided-subject to the approval of the general and the Holy See-on the foundation of new convents. They dealt with delinquents. Attempts were made from time to time to limit the duration of the office of provincials, but so long as the general legislation of the church tolerated an indefinite tenure of office these endeavours were practically unavailing. The superior of a convent was the prior, or in his absence and during a vacancy the vicar. The prior was controlled in his administration by three guardians who held the keys of the common chest and countersigned bills and contracts. Complaints against the prior were sent to the provincial or the provincial chapter. There was no limit to the tenure of office of the prior; he might be confirmed year after year for twenty or more years. In the case of convents in university towns, especially Paris and the Roman Curia (Avignon, afterwards Rome) the nomination belonged to the general or the general chapter; and there appears to have been an unwritten law that at Cambridge, Louvain, and other universities the priorship should be filled by the bachelor who in the course of the year was to take his degree as Master in Divinity. From about the middle of the fourteenth century it became customary to fill the offices of general, provincial, and prior (at least in the larger convents) exclusively with those who had taken degrees. Almost the only systematic exception to this rule is to be found in the province of Upper Germany.


Sources of Membership

When St. Simon Stock established convents in university towns he obviously counted upon the undergraduates as the future recruits of the order; nor was he deceived in his expectation. True, the time had passed when in one day sixty or more students with their professors flocked to the Dominican convent at Paris to receive the habit from the hands of Blessed Jordan. But there were still many applicants, notwithstanding the severe by-laws of the universities regulating the reception of students in mendicant convents. It was perhaps chiefly the poor scholars who by joining one of these orders secured for themselves the necessaries of life as well as the means of education. Not only in the time of St. Simon but even much later a good deal of trouble was caused by these young men, who had recently exchanged the free and easy life of the scholar for the discipline of the cloister. In many convents we find numerous instances of members of the families of the founders and chief benefactors becoming conventuals; in some cases the relationship of uncle and nephew may be traced through several centuries; just as the prebends of cathedrals and collegiate churches were often the gift of the founder and his family and were handed down from generation to generation, the more humble cells of a Carmelite convent remained frequently in the hands of one and the same family who considered it their duty as well as their right to be ever represented by at least one member. Again, it frequently happened that a father desirous of settling his son in life bought or endowed a cell for him in a convent. It was probably due to the ardent piety of former times and the careful preservation from dangerous society that such casual calls ripened into solid vocations. In places where the Carmelites had public or semi-public schools they found little difficulty in choosing suitable boys. But there remained a good many convents in small places, where the recruiting was evidently not so easy and where with a decreasing number of inmates a dangerous relaxation of religious observance went hand in hand. For, throughout the Middle Ages a friar belonged to the convent in which he had taken the habit, although through force of circumstances he might be absent from it for the greater part of his life. Hence, the general chapter repeatedly commanded the priors to receive every year one or two promising young men even if they brought no endowment, so as to gradually increase the number of religious. In other cases where provinces were numerous enough but lacked the means of subsistence the reception of novices might be stopped for several years.


Probation and Formation of Members

The clothing of novices was preceded by certain inquiries into their antecedents and the respectability of their families. The year of probation was spent in the convent which they entered, the "native convent" as it was called, and a father was commissioned to take personal care of a novice, teaching him the customs of the order and the ceremonies of the choir. According to the oldest constitutions, each novice might have a special master, but in practice one master, assisted, if necessary, by a substitute, was appointed for all. The novices were not allowed to mingle with the rest of the community or with the boys of the convent school; no office that in any way could interfere with their chief duty, viz. learning the Divine Office, was given them. On the other hand the prior was not to allow anyone to reprehend the novices or find fault with them, except the novice-master himself, whose business it was to teach, correct, guide, and encourage them. Towards the end of the novitiate the probationer was voted on; if he had given satisfaction he was allowed to make his profession, otherwise he was dismissed. One of the conditions for profession was that the novice should be able to read fluently and write correctly. Those who might smile at such elementary requirements should remember that reading and writing implied a complete mastery of the Latin grammar and a practical knowledge of the system of abbreviations and contractions, a knowledge of palæography which is not now required either of schoolboys or advanced scholars. After profession the provincial decided what was to be done with the young religious. He might stand in need of further training in grammar and rhetoric, or he might begin at once the study of physics and logic. If his own convent afforded no facility for these pursuits, which was probably seldom the case, he would be sent to another. Once a week or a fortnight the teacher would hold a repetition with his scholars in presence of the community so that it might become known who had studied and who had been negligent. Special convents were assigned for the study of philosophy and theology; in England the former was taught at Winchester, the latter at Coventry. The higher studies were, however, pursued at the studia generalia of which in 1324 there were eight: Paris, Toulouse, Bologna, Florence, Montpellier, Cologne, London, and Avignon. Their number was gradually increased until each province had its own, but in earlier times every province was bound to send a certain number of students to each of these studia, and to provide for their maintenance; they were even free to send a larger number than prescribed, but they had to pay for the full number even if they sent less. In addition to the students sent to the studia at the expence of their provinces, others might be sent at the expense of their parents and friends, provided the superiors had given their consent. Thus the number of students at the Carmelite convent at Paris averaged three hundred, in London over a hundred. The majority of students were sent to pro simplici formâ, that is just to complete their course, after which they returned to their provinces. Only the most promising were allowed to study for degrees, because this involved a prolonged residence at the universities, ten, twelve or more years, and a corresponding outlay. (For the course of studies and the various steps leading to the degree of Master in Divinity see UNIVERSITIES.) The provincial and general chapters regulated the succession of lecturers on Scripture and the Sentences; particularly at Paris, the foremost university, provision was often made for ten years in advance, so as to ensure a steady supply of able readers and to distribute as far as possible the honours among all the provinces. For the universities would allow only one friar of each of the mendicant orders to take degrees in the course of a year, and each order was naturally anxious to put its most capable men in the foreground. It was therefore not an idle boast when it was said, as we read sometimes, of one or other of the Carmelites, that he was the best lecturer of his term at Paris. As Paris was the most celebrated university, so the doctors of Paris had precedence over those of the other universities. During the schism Paris took sides with the Clementist party whose most powerful support it was. The Urbanist party in the Carmelite Order transferred the prerogatives of the graduates of Paris to those of Bologna, a poor makeshift. There exists a fairly complete list of the Masters of Paris, but only fragmentary information concerning other universities. Unfortunately the register of the English province was destroyed during the Reformation, while the greater part of the archives of Oxford and Cambridge were lost during the Civil War, so that the priceless notices collected by John Bale are the chief sources for our knowledge of Carmelite activity at the English universities. This is the more regrettable as the position of Carmelite friars was regulated by special statutes often alluded to, but nowhere preserved. On their return from the universities the religious were usually appointed to some readership, care being taken that in every convent there should be a daily lecture on Scripture and theology.




Penalties Established by Rule

The constitutions deal very fully with the faults committed by religious and their punishment. A few words will not be out of place with regard to more serious breaches of discipline, especially the violation of the religious vows. Faults against chastity were punished with six months', or, if notorious, with a year's imprisonment, and the loss of voice and place in chapter for from three to five years. If special circumstances required it the punishment was increased, and in the case of a grave scandal the culprit was sent to the galleys for hard labour for a number of years or even for the remainder of his life. If serious suspicion existed against anyone which it was impossible either to prove or to disprove, the accused was allowed the benefit of canonical purgation, i. e. having himself denied the charge on oath, he produced six other religious of good name and high standing to affirm on oath that they considered the charge unfounded and the accused innocent. If unable to find such witnesses, he was punished as though he had been convicted. Other faults that occur frequently were open disobedience and rebellion against the command of the superiors, the undue exercise of proprietorship, theft, apostasy (by which was understood any absence from the convent without proper permission, even if there was no intention of quitting the order permanently). Thus, if a religious, being sent from one place to another, tarried on the road without proper cause, or went out of his way without necessity, he was punished as an apostate; again, a lecturer at the universities leaving town before the end of the course was judged guilty of the same crime, his action being prejudicial to the honour of the order. In all these matters it must be borne in mind that the penal system of the Middle Ages was far less humane than the modern one, and that many faults were ascribed to perversity of will where we should make allowance for weakness of character or even mental derangement. The more serious faults were judged and punished by the provincial and general chapters, to whom was also reserved the absolution of the culprits and their reinstatement. The general chapters frequently granted free pardon to all prisoners except those recently condemned and there were occasional complaints that some of the superiors showed undue leniency; but the material before us proves that on the whole discipline was well maintained. With an average of twenty thousand friars or more during the fifteenth century, the "Chronique scandaleuse" is singularly unimportant, a fact that tells in favour of the order, all the more as a large percentage of this number consisted of students at the great universities exposed to many temptations.


Constitutional Revisions

These constitutions underwent numerous changes. Almost every chapter made additions which were frequently canceled or qualified by subsequent chapters. John Balistarius (1358-74) published a revised edition in 1369 (unedited) and the mitigation of the rule by Eugene IV necessitated a further revision under John Soreth (1462, printed in 1499). Nevertheless it must be admitted that the legislation of the order moved too slowly, and that many measures were out of date almost as soon as they were passed. Moreover, laws that may have been excellent for Norway or England were hardly applicable in Sicily or at Seville. These simple facts account for many complaints about relaxation or want of discipline. From the approbation of the order by the Council of Lyons until the outbreak of the great Western Schism (1274-1378) there was a steady increase in provinces and convents, interrupted only temporarily by the Black Death. At the time of the schism it was not left to the provinces, much less to individuals, to choose their own party; they necessarily followed the politics of the country to which they belonged. A census taken in 1390 shows the following provinces on the Urbanist side: Cyprus (number of convents not stated); Sicily, with 18 convents; England with 35; Rome with 5; Lower Germany with 12; Lombardy with 12 or 13; Tuscany with 7; Bologna with 8; and Gascony with 6. The Clementist party with the Scottish, French, Spanish, and the greater number of the German houses, was rather more powerful. The general, Bernard Olerius (1375-83) being a native of Calatonia, adhered to Clement VII, and was succeeded first by Raymond Vaquerius and next by John Grossi (1389-1430), one of the most active generals, who during the schism made numerous foundations and maintained excellent discipline among the religious belonging to his party, so that at the union in 1411 he was unanimously elected general of the whole order. The Urbanists had been less fortunate. Michael de Anguanis who succeeded Olerius (1379-86) having become suspect, was deposed after a long trial; the financial administration was far from satisfactory, and the loss of Paris proved a serious blow to that section of the order. Soon after the re-establishment of the union a radical change of the rule became necessary. This, as has been seen, was originally composed for a handful of hermits living in a singularly mild climate.

Notwithstanding the few changes made by Innocent IV, the rule had proved too severe for those who spent one half of their life in the intellectual turmoil of the university and the other half in the exercise of the sacred ministry at home. Accordingly Eugenius IV granted in 1432 a mitigation allowing the use of flesh meat on three or four days a week, and dispensing with the law of silence and retirement. But even so the chief abuses that had crept in during the fourteenth century were by no means abolished.





GENERAL SOURCES: MIGNE, Dict. des ordres religieux, I, 635 sqq.; Bullarium Carmelitanum, vols. I and II, ed. MONSIGNANUS (Rome, 1715, 1718), vols. III and IV (Rome, 1768), ed. XIMENES (Rome, 1768); RIBOTI, Speculum Carmelitarium, ed. CATHANEIS (Venice, 1507), ed. DANIEL A VIRGINE MARIA (2 vols. in fol., Antwerp, 1680), containing the Corpus of medieval Carmelite historians together with numerous dissertations and polemical writings, and practically superseding such authors as: FALCONE, Chronicon Carmelitarium (Placenza, 1545); BRUSSELA, Compendio historico Carmelitano (Florence, 1595); BOLARQUEZ, Chronicas dell' Orden del Monte Carmelo melitano (Palermo, 1600); AUBERTUS MIRæUS, Carmelit. Ordinis origo (Antwerp, 1610); J. DE CARTHAGENA, De antiquitate Ordin. B. M. V. de Monte Carm. (Antwerp, 1620). DOMINICUS A JESU, Spicilegium episcoporum, Ordin. Carmel. (Paris, 1638); DANIEL A VIRG. MARIA, Vinea Carmeli (Antwerp, 1662), with a synchronological table embracing the events during the lifetime of St. Simon Stock (1165-1265) by SEGHERUS PAULI, which the student will do well to handle critically. The first three vols. of LEZANA, Annales sacri prophetici et Eliani Ord. (4 vols., Rome, 1645, 1650, 1653, and 1656), contain the life of the Prophet Elias, the history of the order during the Old Law, at the coming of Christ, and during the Middle Ages as far as 1140; the fourth vol., which might have permanent value as it embraces the period from 1140 till 1515, is in many respects unsatisfactory and superficial. PHILIPPUS A SS. TRINITATE, Compendium historiæ Carmelitarum (Lyons, 1656); IDEM, Theologia Carmelitana (Rome, 1665); IDEM, Decor Carmeli (Lyons, 1665); HAITZE D' ACHE wrote against this work Les moines empruntés, to which JEAN DE VAUX replied by Réponse pour les Religiuex Carmes au livre intitulé: Les moines empr. (Cologne, 1697). LOUIS DE STE THÉRÉSE, La succession du S. prophète Elie (Paris, 1662); JOHANNES-NEPOMUCENUS A S. FAMILIA, vere PETRUS RENERUS, Histoire de l'Ordre de N.D. du Mont Carmel sous ses neuf premiers généraux (Maastricht, 1798), published anonymously; this author frankly adopts the thesis of the Bollandists. ALEXIS-LOUIS DE S. JOSEPH, Histoire sommaire de l'Odre de N.D. du Mont Carmel (Carcassonne, 1855); FERDINAND DE STE THÉRÉSE, Ménologe du Carmel (3 vols., Lille, 1879), not always reliable; CAILLAUD, Origine de l'Ordre du Carmel (Limoges, 1894); ZIMMERMAN, Monumenta historica Carmelitana (Lérins, 1907), so far only one vol., containing the oldest constitutions, acts of general chapters, biographical and critical notes on the first generals, lists of the Masters of Paris, and various collections of letters. No critical history, however compendious, has as yet been attempted, although there is no lack of material in public archives as well as in those of the various branches of the order ORIGINS: The bibliography of the controversy about the antiquity of the order is extremely lengthy, but of no general interest; the principal works are: (1) in favour of the traditional view: DANIEL A VIRGINE MARIA, op. cit.; SEBASTIANUS A S. PAULO, Exhibitio errorum (Cologne, 1693); (2) against the tradition: Acta SS., April, I, 764-99, May, II, Commentar. apologet., 709-846; PAPEBROCH, Responsio ad Exhib. error. (3 vols., Antwerp, 1696); IDEM, Elucidtio.; REUSCH, Der Index der verbotenen Bücher (Bonn, 1885), II, 267 sqq.


GENERAL HISTORY OF THE ORDER: GULIELMUS DE SANVICO (1291), TRITHEMIUS, De ortu et progressu; de viris illustribus; PALæONYDORUS, Fasciculus trimerestus (Mainz, 1497; Venice, 1570), reprinted in DANIEL A VIRGINE MARIA, op. cit.; LUCIUS, Bibliotheca Carmel. (Florence, 1593); COSME DE VILLIERS DE S. ETIENNE, Bibliotheca Carmelitana (2 vols., Orléans, 1752), which whould be compared with the MSS. corrections and additions of NORBERTUS A S. JULIANA in the Royal Library at Brussels. DE SMEDT, Introductio general. ad histor. eccles. (Ghent, 1876); HURTER, Nomenclator

(Innsbruck, 1893); CHEVALIER, Rép. topo-bibliogr., s. v.; KOCH, Die Karmelitenklöster der niederdeutschen Provinz (Freiburg im Br., 1889); ZIMMERMAN, Die heil. Einsiedeleien im Karmeliten-Orden, in Stimmen v. Berge Karmel (Graz, 1898-1900); IDEM, Die englischen Karmelitenklöster (Graz, 1901-1903).


REFORMS: Reform of Mantua: PENSA, Teatro degli uomini illustri della famiglia di Mantova (Mantua, 1618); FELLINI, Sacrum musæum s. Congreg. Mantuanæ (Bologna, 1691); VAGHI, Commentarium fratrum et sororum Ordin. B. V. M. de Monte Carm. Congreg. Mantuan. (Parma, 1725). On the reform of Touraine (Rennes), LEO A S. JOHANNE, L'esprit de la réforme des Carmes en France (Bordeaux, 1666); SERNIN-MARIE DE S. ANDRÉ, Vie du Ven. Fr. Jean de S. Samson (Paris, 1881). Reform of St. Teresa, (1) Spain: Besides her own writings, FRANCISCUS A S. MARIA and others: Reforma de los Descalços (6 vols., Madrid, 1644); part of this work, which is partisan, in favour of Doria and against St. John of the Cross and Jerome Gratian, has been translated into Italian (Genoa, 1654) and French (Paris, 1665; Lérins, 1896); GRÉGOIRE DE S. JOSEPH, Le Pére Gratien et ses juges (Rome, 1904), also tr. It. and Sp.; IDEM., Peregrinación de Anastasio (Burgos, 1905), published anonymously. (2) Portugal: MELCHIOR A S. ANNA and others, Chronica de Carmelitas Descalços (3 vols., Lisbon, 1657). (3) Italy and other countries: ISIDOR A S. JOSEPH. and PETRUS A S. ANDREA, Historia generalis fratrum discalceator. (2 vols., Rome, 1668, 1671); EUSEBIUS AB OMNIBUS SANCTIS, Enchiridion chronologicum Carmel. Discalceat. (Rome, 1737); LOUIS DE STE THÉRÉSE, Annales des Carmes déchaussés de France (Paris, 1666; Laval, 1891); HENRICUS-MARIA A SS. SACRAMENTO, Collectio scriptorum Ord. Carmel. Excalceat. (2 vols., Savona, 1884), superficial. On the missions: JOH. A JESU-MARIA, Liber seu historia missionum (1730); PAULINUS A S. BARTHOLOMæO, Opera (Rome, 1790); BERTHOLDE-IGNACE DE S. ANNE, Hist. de l'éstablissement de la mission de Perse (Brussels, 1886); ALBERT-MARIE DU S. SAUVEUR, Le sanctuaire du Mont Carmel (Tournai, 1897), the original edition published without acknowledgment, by JULIEN DE STE THÉRÉSE (Marseilles, 1876); HENRICUS A S. FAMILIA, Leven der gelukzaligen Dionysius en Redemptus (Ypres, 1900); RUSHE, Carmel in Ireland (Dublin, 1897; supplement, 1903); ZIMMERMAN, Carmel in England (London, 1899). CARMELITE NUNS: HOUSSAYE, M. de Bérulle et les Carmélites de France (Paris, 1872); GRAMIDON, Notices historiques sur les origines (Paris, 1873); HOUSSAYE, Les Carmélites de France et les constitutions (Brussels, 1873); ALBERT-MARIE DU S. SAUVEUR, Les Carmes déchaussés de France (3 vols., Paris, 1886) with a supplement on the Jansenist troubles in the convent of the Incarnation at Paris; Mémoire sur la fondation, le gouvernement et l'observance des Carmélites déchaussées (2 vols., Reims, 1894), anonymous, by the Carmelite nuns of the Rue d'Enfer, Paris, with a valuable bibliography; Chroniques de l'ordre des Carmélites (9 vols., partly at Troyes, 1846; partly at Poitiers, 1887); BERTHOLD-IGNACE DE STE ANNE, Vie de la Mère Anne de Jésus (2 vols., Mechlin, 1876, 1882); La vie et les instructions de la Vén. anne de S. Barthélémy (anonymous, by a solitary of the "Desert" of Marlaigne), (new ed., Paris, 1895); SYLVAIN, View du P. Hermann (Paris, 1881), tr. Germ. and It.; Carmel in India (anonymous) (London, 1895); IGNACE DE S. JEAN L'VANGÉLISTE, Vie et vertus héroiques de la Mère Thérèse de Jésus (Marchocka) (Lillie, 1906); Vie de la R. Mère Camille de l'Enfant Jésus née de Soyecourt (anonymous), ed. D'HULST (Paris, 1898); BEDINGFIELD, Life of Margaret Mostyn (London, 1884); HUNTER, An English Carmelite: Life of Catherine Burton (London, 1876); CURRIER, Carmel in America (Baltimore, 1890). BENEDICT ZIMMERMAN

Dedicated to St. Teresa of Jesus

Transcribed by Matthew Reak