Constitutions of the Carmelite Order

Constitutions of the Carmelite Order

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The Constitutions of the Carmelite Order stand as an expression of the ideals and spirit of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
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 centuries...

.

Foundational sources for the Constitutions include the desert hermit
Hermit
A hermit is a person who lives, to some degree, in seclusion from society.In Christianity, the term was originally applied to a Christian who lives the eremitic life out of a religious conviction, namely the Desert Theology of the Old Testament .In the...

 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
Theotokos
Theotokos is the Greek title of Mary, the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. Its literal English translations include God-bearer and the one who gives birth to God. Less literal translations include Mother of God...

, beloved to the Order under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Additionally, the Carmelite Rule of St. Albert
Carmelite Rule of St. Albert
The eremitic Rule of St. Albert is the shortest of the rules of consecrated life in existence of the Roman Catholic spiritual tradition. St. Albert Avogadro, a priest of the Canons Regular and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, wrote the Rule in the early 13th century. The Rule is directed to Brother...

 and the Book of the First Monks
Book of the First Monks
The Book of the First Monks is a medieval Christian work in the contemplative and eremetic tradition of the Carmelites. It is one of the most important documents of the Order, because it shaped many of the Saints from the Carmelite Order in the basic spirituality of the first Hermits...

 comprise fundamental points of reference in the life and spirituality of the Order.

Between the 13th and 16th centuries the Order lost much of its vigour. The reform led by Teresa of Ávila
Teresa of Ávila
Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, and writer of the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer...

 and John of the Cross
John of the Cross
John of the Cross , born Juan de Yepes Álvarez, was a major figure of the Counter-Reformation, a Spanish mystic, Catholic saint, Carmelite friar and priest, born at Fontiveros, Old Castile....

 restored Carmelite life with a new joy and asceticism. The Discalced Carmelite renewal saw the Constitutions reaffirmed and strengthened. They were again revitalised under the directives of the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

.

Two different approved texts of Constitutions exist today for the Discalced Carmelite Nuns: those approved by Pope John Paul II December 8, 1990, and those approved by Pope John Paul II September 17, 1991. The Carmels under the 1990 Constitutions, many of which are in Spain, are generally more traditional.

See also

  • Carmelites
    Carmelites
    The Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel or Carmelites is a Catholic religious order perhaps founded in the 12th century on Mount Carmel, hence its name. However, historical records about its origin remain uncertain...

  • Carmelite Rule of St. Albert
    Carmelite Rule of St. Albert
    The eremitic Rule of St. Albert is the shortest of the rules of consecrated life in existence of the Roman Catholic spiritual tradition. St. Albert Avogadro, a priest of the Canons Regular and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, wrote the Rule in the early 13th century. The Rule is directed to Brother...

  • Book of the First Monks
    Book of the First Monks
    The Book of the First Monks is a medieval Christian work in the contemplative and eremetic tradition of the Carmelites. It is one of the most important documents of the Order, because it shaped many of the Saints from the Carmelite Order in the basic spirituality of the first Hermits...

  • Carmelite Rite
    Carmelite Rite
    The Rite of the Holy Sepulchre commonly called the Carmelite Rite is the liturgical rite that was used by the Canons Regular of the Holy Sepulchre, Hospitallers, Templars, Carmelites and the other orders founded within the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem....

  • Hermit
    Hermit
    A hermit is a person who lives, to some degree, in seclusion from society.In Christianity, the term was originally applied to a Christian who lives the eremitic life out of a religious conviction, namely the Desert Theology of the Old Testament .In the...

  • St. Maravillas of Jesus

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