the monastic order of "St. Mary of Mount Carmel." It was founded as an association of hermits by Berthold, count of Limoges, about 1156, on Mount Carmel, and received its first rule in 1209 from Albert, patriarch of Jerusalem, to whose diocese Mount Carmel belonged, which rule was sanctioned by Pope Honorius III in 1224. The rule was founded on that of St. Basil, and enjoined that the prior be elected unanimously or by majority; to have places in deserts, separate cells, common refectory; all to remain in their cells meditating by day and night, excepting when at fit hours, in church, etc.; to have all things common; no flesh allowed save to the sick; fast from Holyrood to Easter everyday except to the sick; to observe chastity, to labor, and to keep silence from after Compline till Prime. The habit was at first white, as well as the mantle, of which the bottom was laced thick with yellow bands, an ornament suppressed by Honorius IV. They then assumed the robe of the Minims, and a white mantle. The Carmelites were also known by the name of Barred or Barry Friars (Freres Barrez), because of the barred dress of black and white which the Saracens, when they took possession of the East, compelled them to wear, instead of the white dress, white being with them a mark of distinction. They came to Europe in 1238, and had seven establishments in England. The first General Chapter was held in 1245 in England, after which, through the activity of their general, Simon Stock, and the protection of Innocent IV, they spread with great rapidity. From Innocent IV they received, in 1247, a new rule, which was better suited for their new situation, and which classed them among the mendicant orders. Instigated by the desire to excel their rivals, they invented the most absurd legends. They pretended that the prophet Elijah had been the founder of their order and the Virgin Mary a member, wherefore they called themselves Fratres Beatce Mariae de Monte Carmelo. The succession of the generals of the order, according to their historians, has never been interrupted since the prophet Elijah. They were duly castigated and ridiculed for such pretensions by the Jesuits, and particularly by the learned Bollandist Papebroch. Still the Church never decided against them; Pope Innocent IV imposed silence on both parties, and the fables of the Carmelites can be read in their liturgical books to this day.
The great schism of the 14th century split also the order of the Carmelites, and completed their corruption and disorganization. Several attempts at a reformation were made, of which that of Thomas Conneece, who laid the foundation of the Congregation of Mantua, was the most successful. Thomas himself (a celebrated penitentiary in France and in the Netherlands) was burned in Rome as a heretic, but his congregation soon extended widely, and received the privilege of electing a vicar general. Pope Eugenius IV mitigated the rule of Innocent IV in 1431, and endeavored to unite all the Carmelites, except the Congregation of Mantua, on this mitigated rule as a new basis. For the same purpose, the general received from Pius II, in 1459, the authority to proceed with regard to fast- days according to their own judgment. In 1462, general John Soreth tried to introduce a greater strictness of the rule into the whole order. His plans were approved by Pope Paul II, but the author was poisoned by discontented monks in 1471. The same Soreth established, in 1452, the first convent of Carmelite nuns. In 1476 Sixtus IV established the Tertiarians of the order. They received a rule in 1635, which was reformed in 1678.
The Discalceate Carmelites received their name from going barefooted, and took their rise in the 16th century. They professed the order as reformed by Theresa of Avila, in Spain, who, desiring a stricter rule than that which the Carmelites (farther mitigatedly Eugenius IV in 1431) afforded, about 1562 established a new house at Avila under her reformed rule; and in 1577 the Discalceats were exempted from the jurisdiction of the Mitigated Carmelites. They were divided into two distinct bodies, those of Spain, who were composed of six provinces under one general, being the strictest. The others had seventeen provinces in France, Italy, Poland, Germany, Persia, etc. It is a rule with them that in every province there shall be a hermitage attached to some one monastery, in which hermitage shall be not more than twenty monks, who after three weeks return to the monastery, and are replaced by twenty other monks. Their manner of life is very austere (Landon, Eccl. Dictionary, s.v.).
The Spanish congregation has become nearly extinct in consequence of the suppression of all the monastic orders in Spain. In 1843 no more than fourteen convents belonging to it were left in South America. Their procurator general lived in the general house of the Italian congregation in Rome. At the some date the Italian congregation counted 63 convents, with about 900 members, in Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Bavaria, Ireland, Poland, and Turkey. The Mitigated or Calceate Carmelites had convents in Italy, Austria, Bavaria, Ireland, and Poland, with about 600 members. In 1860 the Carmelite monks altogether numbered 125 houses in Italy; 12 in Germany, Holland, and Belgium; 12 in France, 8 in Ireland, 22 in Eastern Europe (Poland, Gallicia, Russia, Hungary), 6 in Asia, 17 in Mexico and South America, and a few in Spain. The number of members was estimatedat about 4000. Since then the number has been reduced by the suppression of a number of convents in Italy. The Carmelite nuns of the reform of Theresa had, in 1843, about 90 houses in Italy, France, Belgium, England, Ireland, Bavaria, Prussia, Austria, Poland, North America (at Baltimore), South America, and India: 60 of these convents were in France. In 1860, Spain and Portugal had 15 houses; Italy, 19; France, 71; Germany, Holland, and Belgium, 28; Great Britain and Ireland, 15; Poland, 3; America, 7; Asia, 1; altogether, 160 houses, with about 3200 members.
A congregation of our Lady of Mount Carmel was founded in France in 1702. Its members are not obliged to enter a convent, but can pass their novitiate in the world. They have many institutions in France, principally devoted to teaching and the nursing of the sick, and have once a year a great gathering at Avranches for the purpose of a common spiritual retreat. There is also a congregation of Carmelites in the archdiocese of New Orleans, U. S., who teach four schools. Manning, Life of St. Teresa (Lond. 1865), p. 161 sq.; Fehr, Geschichte der Mönchsorden, 1:356; 2:341; P. Karl vom heil. Aloys, Jahrbuch der Kirche (Ratisbon, 1862).