Lay Carmelites

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Third Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
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AbbreviationLay Carmelites
Formation1476
Type Catholic religious order branch from O.Carm.
Prior General
Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral
Website http://www.ocarm.org

The Third Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (also named Lay Carmelites) is a branch of the religious Carmelite Order of the Ancient Observance and was established in 1476 by a bull of Pope Sixtus IV. It is an association of lay people who choose to live the Gospel in the spirit of the Carmelite Order and under its guidance. The Carmelites known for devotion to Blessed Virgin Mary under her title as Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Carmelites Catholic mendicant religious order

The Carmelites, formally known as the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel or sometimes simply as Carmel by synecdoche, is a Roman Catholic mendicant religious order founded, probably in the 12th century, on Mount Carmel in the Crusader States, hence the name Carmelites. However, historical records about its origin remain very uncertain. Berthold of Calabria has traditionally been associated with the founding of the order, but few clear records of early Carmelite history have survived.

Pope Sixtus IV pope

Pope Sixtus IV, born Francesco della Rovere, was Pope from 9 August 1471 to his death in 1484. His accomplishments as Pope included the construction of the Sistine Chapel and the creation of the Vatican Archives. A patron of the arts, he brought together the group of artists who ushered the Early Renaissance into Rome with the first masterpieces of the city's new artistic age.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel title for the Virgin Mary

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid-13th century. They built in the midst of their hermitages a chapel which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they conceived of in chivalric terms as the "Lady of the place." Our Lady of Mount Carmel was adopted in the 19th century as the patron saint of Chile, in South America.

Contents

History

Soon after the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was established in Europe in the thirteenth century, lay persons, not bound by religious vows, seem to have attached themselves to it more or less closely. There is evidence of the existence of a "Confrairie Notre-Dame du Mont-Carmel" at Toulouse in 1273, and of a "Compagnia di Santa Maria del Carmino" at Bologna in 1280, but the exact nature of these bodies is uncertain owing to a lack of documents. [1]

In religious organizations, the laity consists of all members who are not part of the clergy, usually including any non-ordained members of religious institutes, e.g. a nun or lay brother.

Bologna Comune in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Bologna is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, at the heart of a metropolitan area of about one million people.

Somewhat later mention is frequently made of trade-guilds having their seat in churches of the order, members of which acted as their chaplains. Thus the master-bakers, innkeepers and pastry-cooks at Nîmes, the barbers and surgeons of the same town, who were also connected with the Dominicans, the goldsmiths at Avignon. Benefactors of the order received letters of fraternity with the right of participation in the privileges and good works of the friars. Others, under the name of bizzoche and mantellatoe, wore the habit and observed the rule, at Florence in 1308. Still others became recluses in the anchorages attached to Carmelite churches. Among the tertiaries not living in community were Blessed Louis Morbioli of Bologna (d. 1495). [1]

Dominican Order Roman Catholic religious order

The Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominican Order, is a mendicant Catholic religious order founded by the Spanish priest Dominic of Caleruega in France, approved by Pope Innocent III via the Papal bull Religiosam vitam on 22 December 1216. Members of the order, who are referred to as Dominicans, generally carry the letters OP after their names, standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers. Membership in the order includes friars, nuns, active sisters, and affiliated lay or secular Dominicans.

Avignon Prefecture and commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Avignon is a commune in south-eastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 90,194 inhabitants of the city, about 12,000 live in the ancient town centre enclosed by its medieval ramparts.

Florence Capital and most populous city of the Italian region of Tuscany

Florence is a city in central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.

The canonical institution of the third order dates from the middle of the fifteenth century, when a community of Beguines at Guelders sought affiliation to the order, and Blessed John Soreth, General of the Carmelites, obtained a Bull (7 October 1452) granting the superiors of his order the faculties enjoyed by the Hermits of Saint Augustine and the Dominicans of canonically establishing convents of "virgins, widows, beguines and mantellatae". Also Saint Nuno of Saint Mary had participated in the developing work of the carmelite third order. Further legislation took place in 1476 by the Bull Mare magnum privilegiorum, and under Pope Benedict XIII and his successors. [1]

Canonical institution is a technical term of the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, meaning in practice an institution having full recognition and status within the Church.

Guelders Historical county in the Low Countries

Guelders or Gueldres is a historical county, later duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the Low Countries.

Order of Saint Augustine Catholic order of mendicant friars

The Order of Saint Augustine, generally called Augustinians or Austin Friars, is a Catholic religious order. It was founded in 1244 by bringing together several eremetical orders in the Tuscany region who were following the Rule of St. Augustine, written by St. Augustine of Hippo in the 5th Century.

The rule observed by the tertiaries, whether living in the world or gathered into communities, was originally that of the friars with modifications as required by their status. Theodor Stratius, General of the Carmelites of the Ancient Observance, composed in 1635 a new rule, revised in 1678, [2] which is still observed among tertiaries of the Calced and the Discalced Carmelites.

Friar member of a mendicant religious order in Catholic Christianity

A friar is a brother member of one of the mendicant orders founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century; the term distinguishes the mendicants' itinerant apostolic character, exercised broadly under the jurisdiction of a superior general, from the older monastic orders' allegiance to a single monastery formalized by their vow of stability. The most significant orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Carmelites.

Discalced Carmelites religious order

The Discalced Carmelites, known officially as the Order of the Discalced Carmelites of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel or the Order of Discalced Carmelites, is a Catholic mendicant order with roots in the eremitic tradition of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. The order was established in the 16th century, pursuant to the reform of the Carmelite Order by two Spanish saints, Saint Teresa of Ávila and Saint John of the Cross. Discalced is derived from Latin, meaning "without shoes".

There are numerous corporations of tertiaries established in different countries, viz. two communities of tertiary brothers in Ireland (Drumcondra and Clondalkin near Dublin) in charge of an asylum for the blind and of a high-school for boys; eighteen communities of native priests in British India belonging partly to the Latin and partly to the Syro-Malabar Churches; four houses of Brothers of Christian Education in Spain.

In Britain, the Third Order experienced a particular growth following the return of the Carmelite friars to Britain in the 1920s. There are around 500 professed members of the Carmelite Third Order Secular in Britain. [2]

Far more numerous are the communities of nuns, namely twenty-three in India (Latin and Syro-Malabar rites) for the education of native girls, and four convents in Syria in connection with the missions of the Order; two congregations of tertiaries in Spain with nineteen and forty-eight establishments respectively, and one unattached, for educational work. In Spain there are also tertiary nuns called "Carmelitas de la caridad" engaged in works of charity with 150 establishments. The Austrian congregation of nuns numbers twenty-seven houses, while the most recent branch, the Carmelite Tertiaries of the Sacred Heart, founded at Berlin towards the end of the last century for the care and education of orphans and neglected children, have spread rapidly through Germany, Holland, England, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and Hungary, and have twenty houses. In Italy there are three different congregations with thirty-two convents. There are smaller branches of the tertiaries in South America with two houses at Santiago, Chile, in Switzerland with four convents, and in England with one.

Present Day

Those who wish to be members of the Carmelite Third Order must be practicing Catholics. They must not be members of any other Third Order or Secular Institute, except in special cases, and they must be at least 18 years of age. After a period of initial formation, candidates are accepted for profession. [3] The term 'Lay Carmel' is somewhat problematic when describing the Secular/Third Orders because there are a number of ordained ministers (deacons, priests and bishops) who, while not lay people, are professed members of the Secular/Third Orders. [2]

Apart from attending a monthly community meeting, Lay Carmelites wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel as an external sign of dedication to Mary, and of trust in her protection. They are expected to participate in the daily celebration of the Eucharist when possible, and should spend about one half-hour in meditation each day, reflecting on the Scriptures, Lectio Divina, or some other appropriate type of personal reflective prayer. The Lay Carmelite also prays the Liturgy of the Hours – Morning and Evening Prayer. [4]

Charism

The charism of Lay Carmelites is prayer, community, and ministry. [4]

Twenty-six countries were represented at the 2006 International Congress of Lay Carmelites. [5]

As of 2012, the Ontario and Northwestern New York Region of the Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary (PCM) had eleven communities with 194 active members. [4]

See also

Notes

Related Research Articles

Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the habit of both the Carmelite Order and the Discalced Carmelite Order, both of which have Our Lady of Mount Carmel as their patroness. In its small form, it is widely popular within the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church as a religious article and has probably served as the prototype of all the other devotional scapulars. The liturgical feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16, is popularly associated with the devotion of the Scapular.

The term "Third Order" signifies, in general, lay members of religious orders, who do not necessarily live in community and yet can claim to wear the habit and participate in the good works of some great order. Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism all recognize Third Orders. They were a twelfth century adaptation of the medieval monastic confraternities.

Simon Stock British hermit

Saint Simon Stock, an Englishman who lived in the 13th century, was an early Prior of the Carmelite religious order. Little is known about his life with any historical certainty. The Blessed Virgin Mary is traditionally said to have appeared to him and given him the Carmelite habit, the Brown Scapular. Thus, popular devotion to Saint Simon Stock is usually associated with devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel

The Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel are members of a Carmelite religious institute dedicated to female education. It was founded in the latter part of the 19th century by Mother Veronica of the Passion, O.C.D., under the guidance of her mentor, Bishop Marie Ephrem of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D., who had envisioned the birth of a "Carmel for the Missions" in India, devoted to teaching and education.

Veronica of the Passion 19th-century English Carmelite nun and foundress

Mother Mary Veronica of the Passion, O.C.D. founded the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel, a religious congregation of the Discalced Carmelite Third Order for women based in India.

A Catholic order liturgical rite is a variant of a Catholic liturgical rite distinct from the typical ones, such as the Roman Rite, but instead specific to a certain Catholic religious order.

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower United States historic place

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower also called Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Thérèse Church is a historic Roman Catholic church, located in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The church is distinguished as one of 84 in the United States bearing the papal designation of "minor basilica." Despite its religious importance it is not the cathedral of the local diocese; that distinction belongs to San Fernando Cathedral.

Independent Augustinian communities are Roman Catholic religious communities that follow the Augustinian Rule, but are not under the jurisdiction of the Prior General of the Augustinian hermits in Rome.

The Third Order of Saint Dominic, also referred to as the Lay Fraternities of St Dominic or Lay Dominicans since 1972, is a Roman Catholic third order affiliated with the Dominican Order.

Monks of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel

The Carmelite Monks or Monks of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel is a cloistered contemplative religious community of diocesan right dedicated to a humble life of prayer. They are known for their loyalty to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and to the ancient traditions of Carmel. Their life includes strict separation from the world and the living of the cloistered Carmelite spirituality and way of life established by St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Jesus. In accord with the Carmelite Rule, they engage in manual labor and the study of Carmelite spirituality in the solitude of the mountains, with the firm hope of attaining to Union with God.

The Byzantine Discalced Carmelites are communities of cloistered nuns and friars, belonging to several Eastern Catholic Churches – the Bulgarian Byzantine Catholic Church, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church, the Ordinariate for Eastern Catholics in France and the Romanian Greek Catholic Church, living committed to a life of prayer, according to the eremitic tradition and lifestyle of the Discalced Carmelites.

Constitutions of the Carmelite Order

The Constitutions of the Carmelite Order stand as an expression of the ideals and spirit of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Foundational sources for the Constitutions include the desert hermit vocation as exemplified in the life of the Prophet Elijah. For the Carmelite the contemplative vocation is exemplified par excellence in the life of the Virgin Mary, beloved to the Order under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Additionally, the Carmelite Rule of St. Albert and the Book of the First Monks comprise fundamental points of reference in the life and spirituality of the Order.

Martyrs of Compi├Ęgne Carmelite nuns guillotined during the French Revolution

The Martyrs of Compiègne were the 16 members of the Carmel of Compiègne, France: 11 Discalced Carmelite nuns, three lay sisters, and two externs. During the French Revolution, they refused to obey the Civil Constitution of the Clergy of the Revolutionary government, which mandated the suppression of their monastery. They were guillotined on 17 July 1794, during the Reign of Terror and buried in a mass grave at Picpus Cemetery.

The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites, officially Ordo Carmelitarum Discalceatorum Saecularis (OCDS), and formerly the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and of the Holy Mother Saint Teresa of Jesus, is a religious association of the Roman Catholic Church composed primarily of lay persons and also accepted secular clergy.

Saint Euphrasia Eluvathingal,, was an Indian Carmelite nun of the Syro-Malabar Church, which is an Eastern Catholic Church and a part of the Saint Thomas Christian community in Kerala. She was canonised as a saint by Pope Francis on 23 November 2014 in Vatican City. Since the beheading of St.John the Baptist is celebrated on August 29, the feast of St. Euphrasia is postponed to August 30.

The Hermits of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel is a branch of the religious Carmelite Order of the Ancient Observance, who originated as hermit monks and have been mendicant friars since the 13th century. The male Carmelites of this branch of the Order are not considered monastics as the cloistered Carmelite nuns are. However, Carmelite Hermits are new and separate communities of men and women living an enclosed life, inspired by the ancient Carmelite monastic life, under the authority of the Prior General of Carmelite Order (O.Carm.). Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the principal patroness of this type of Carmelite communities.