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Carmelites (kärˈməlīts), Roman Catholic order of mendicant friars. Originally a group of hermits, apparently European, living on Mt. Carmel in Palestine, their supervision was undertaken (c.1150) by St. Berthold. In 1238 they moved to Cyprus, and thence to Western Europe. St. Simon Stock (d. 1265), an Englishman, was their second founder. He transformed them into an order of friars resembling Dominicans and Franciscans and founded monasteries at Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, and Bologna. They rapidly became prominent in university life. An enclosed order of Carmelite nuns was established. The Carmelites, like other orders, declined in the 15th cent. They were revived by St. Theresa (of Ávila) and St. John of the Cross in 16th-century Spain. These great contemplatives gave the order a special orientation toward mysticism. Their reformed branch is the Discalced (or Barefoot) Carmelites; it is now more numerous than the Carmelites of the Old Observance. The Discalced Carmelites cultivate the contemplative life in all aspects, and they have produced many works on mystical theology. St. Theresa (of Lisieux) is a well-known Discalced Carmelite of the 19th cent. In 1790 the first community came to the United States and settled near Port Tobacco, Md. There are presently about 6,900 priests and brothers living in Carmelite communities, with 500 living in the United States.


See E. A. Peers, Spirit of Flame (1944, repr. 1961); P. Rohrback, Journey to the Carith (1966).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



members of a Catholic mendicant monastic order, founded in the second half of the 12th century in Palestine by the Italian crusader Berthold.

The Carmelites’ first monastic community was located on Mount Carmel (hence the name). Their rule was approved byPope Honorius III in 1226. After the failure of the Crusades, theCarmelites moved to Western Europe (13th century), whereunder Pope Innocent IV they were turned into a mendicantorder in 1245 or 1247. In the 16th century the order was againreformed, after which it split into two branches (the Carmelitesand the Discalced, or Barefoot, Carmelites). In 1972 the ordernumbered about 8, 000 monks; the women’s order of Carmelites(established in the 15th century) numbered more than 12, 000nuns.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Or, to the unread, unsophisticated Protestant of the Middle American States, why does the passing mention of a White Friar or a White Nun, evoke such an eyeless statue in the soul?
On or near White Friars Street - five (two under investigation, two no suspect identified and one awaiting court outcome)
Charity event STORRAR Cowdry Solicitors in White Friars Chester recently organised a drinks reception at their offices to raise much needed funds for a local charity, The Neuro Therapy Centre, in Saltney.
Simon Stock, the early prior general of the Carmelites, in the Convent of the White Friars in Cambridge.
It will take place at Lumisi, Friars Court, 43 White Friars, Chester, from 11am to
The venue in White Friars Street, city centre received the funding from WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd) because they are within 10 miles of a landfill site.
Leaving Abbey Gateway in the heart of the city at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, the parade route then continues along St Werburgh Street, Eastgate St, Watergate St, Nicholas St, Weaver St, White Friars, Bridge Street, and Northgate Street.
However, some of the most desirable White friars designs, including the Drunken Bricklayer vases are now being faked so buy from a reputable dealer until your knowledge has grown.
This shape was designed by Geoffrey Baxter for White friars Glass in the 1960s.
From a relatively young age, Henry appears to have had an affiliation with the Carmelites or White Friars. This interest came from his parents, who had a long-standing association with the Order.
Hulne Priory represents one of the earliest, if not the first, of the English foundations of the Carmelites, or white friars.