from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The prophet Elijah

Carmelites are the members of the Order of the Brothers of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel (Latin Ordo Fratrum Beatissimae Mariae Virginis de Monte Carmelo ), which was founded around 1150 on the Carmel Mountains in the Holy Land and originates from the tradition of hermitism . The members of the religious branch for women founded in the second half of the 15th century are called Carmelites .

The religious split in the reform movement of the 16th century (see Teresianischer Carmel ) in Carmelites of the Old Observance (also Calzeaten or sometimes shod called lat. Ordo Carmelitarum Calceatarum , religious symbol OCarm or OCC) and Discalced Carmelites and Discalced Carmelites (also barefoot or discalceates , lat. Ordo Carmelitarum Discalceatarum , order abbreviation OCD or OCarmD).


Early history

The Carmelites must leave Palestine . Painting around 1520 by Jörg Ratgeb

Around the middle of the 12th century, a settlement of crusaders or pilgrims was established near the Elijah Fountain on Mount Carmel in Palestine. According to reports from some historians, Saint Berthold of Calabria is considered the founder. The community was called the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel .

The first brothers lived in an ascetic way of life as hermits without any religious rule , but in a loose community. The prophet Elijah was a role model for the brothers. Around 1206 or 1214, they turned to Albert , the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem , to give them a rule. This rule was tailored to a purely contemplative way of life. They lived in a monastery complex in which everyone in a cell devoted himself to prayer and work.

The advance of the Muslims in the 13th century forced the Carmelites to emigrate to Europe in 1238. Pope Innocent IV changed the rule in 1247/53 so that a mendicant order was created, which enabled the brothers to work as pastors and academic studies in addition to the hermitism, which is still pursued as an ideal .

As early as the 13th century, women also joined the order: some moved to existing male monasteries as cloisters , others lived in Beguine Convents , for example in northern France, Italy and Spain. Pope Nicholas V confirmed a separate branch of the order in 1452. John Soreth who was Prior General of the Order at the beginning of the 15th century, collected first in the Netherlands Begin groups to the first convents of the Carmelites.

Reform movements

Teresa of Ávila ( Peter Paul Rubens )

The order spread across Europe in the 14th century. As a result, there were several attempts at reforms to bring the order back to the hermit ideal, but most of them failed. In the late Middle Ages the order, like many others, fell into disrepair due to neglect of prayer, relaxation of the law of poverty and neglect of community life. During the Western Schism , parties were formed, each with its own prior general . Prior General such as Nikolaus Audet , Johann Baptist Rossi and Johann Baptist Caffardo strove for reforms, but they did not have any sweeping success in the time of humanism and the Reformation .

The only radical reform was that of St. Teresa of Ávila and St. John of the Cross . These returned to the hermitic way of life of the order. The role model and advisor for Teresa was also Petrus von Alcantara , who similarly led the Franciscan order back to its origins. Teresa adopted the older Rule of St. Albert from 1247 on the basis of their re-establishment and supplemented these with their own regulations, for example on penance exercises and holding a common recreation twice a day. The first convention given to the Patronage of St. Subordinate to Josef , Teresa founded in 1562 in Ávila . In Duruelo de la Sierra in 1568, with the help of St. John of the Cross also founded a monastery for brothers. In 1565 the Pope confirmed Teresa's rule, but violent tensions broke out between the Discalceaten and the Carmelites of the old observance. The opponents of reform went as far as St. Johannes imprisoned for months. In 1580 a separate province of the Discalced was founded, in 1593 the Discalceates finally separated from the Shoed.

Modern times and the present

During the Reformation and the Turkish Wars , the Carmelites lost their northern European provinces. Many houses no longer received alms and ran into existential hardship. The houses of the Upper German province in Saxony could only be preserved with difficulty, with the provincials Andreas Stoss and Eberhard Billick having violent arguments with the reformers.

With the conquest of South America, Carmelites also came to Panama , Colombia and Brazil as missionaries . The Carmelites opened a missionary seminar in Rome. Shoed and unshod Carmelites were also sent to Persia , the Far East and Africa .

The French Revolution and secularization led to the abolition of numerous monasteries of both male and female religious branches in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Brother Johannes von Frascati was able to reestablish the order in Palestine in 1827 .

Spreading the Order in the Present

Discalced Carmelites (sister with solemn profession and novice )

The Carmelite Order of the Old Observance today includes around 2000 religious priests and brothers worldwide , and the Carmelite Sisters of the Old Observance around 900 nuns . About 3,000 sisters in independent congregations are also affiliated to the Order . The Discalced Carmelites, also known as the Teresian Carmel , include around 4,000 fathers and brothers and around 13,000 nuns, as well as numerous affiliated institutes of the third order .

The first branch in Germany was in Cologne in 1249 . Up until the end of 2012 there were two provinces in Germany with a total of thirteen male and two female monasteries. On December 28, 2012, the unification of the Upper and Lower Germans to form the German Province was completed. The seat of the new province is Bamberg. Currently (as of December 28, 2012) there are seven locations in the German province: Bamberg (provincial headquarters ), Mainz , Springiersbach bei Bengel , Straubing , Marienthal , Erlangen and Duisburg . There are 73 priests belonging to the seven monasteries. The current Provincial is Father Peter Schröder OCarm.

The management of the previous Upper German Province was in Bamberg (branch 1273-1802 and since 1903). This included branches in Straubing (since 1368), Ohrdruf (1991–2007), Spriengiersbach Abbey (since 1922), Beilstein (Mosel) (1636–1803), Bad Reichenhall (1934–2009), Fürth (1951–2010), Erlangen (since 1967) and Mainz (1285–1802 and since 1924); the Mainz monastery is also the all-German training center. In addition, the Carmelites in Erlangen were attached to this province.

The Lower German Province had its provincialate in Duisburg until it was united with the Upper German Province . In addition to the training center in Mainz, the province also included the convents in Cologne, Wegberg and Marienthal near Hamminkeln. The Augustinian Hermit Monastery there, which had been closed, was repopulated by the Carmelites in 1986. The Carmelites of the Carmel "Mother of Good Advice" in Essen-Schuir (formerly in Duisburg) were attached to the Low German Province.

The Teresian Carmel did not spread in Germany until the 17th century. The province with its seat in Munich consists of 50 brothers in seven convents and about 300 sisters in 21 monasteries. See also Discalced Carmelites and Discalced Carmelites .

There are convents of both branches worldwide, especially in Spain, Italy and in Spanish-speaking South America. In the Netherlands Nijmegen care Carmelites the Titus Brandsma Memorial Church , the Blessed Carmelite Titus Brandsma ordained is.

There are still two Carmelite monasteries on the Carmel Mountains . The Muhraqa monastery on the southeastern Carmel is said to be at the point where the prophet Elijah made proof of God against the priests of Baal and then killed them ( 1 Kings 18  EU ). The Carmelite Monastery at the Carmel Cape is located at the northern end of the mountains in Haifa . Below the church there is a grotto that, according to tradition, served Elijah as a dwelling.

Missionary secular carmel

The Missionary Secular Carmel (CMS) is an international association of believers . The association was founded in Medellín (Colombia) in 1988 and recognized by the Holy See in 1996. The CMS is connected to the Carmelites and is represented in twelve countries around the world and has around 500 members.

Important Carmelites


  • The Karmelitergeist is a lemon balm spirit: lemon balm leaves extracted with alcohol are mixed with cinnamon and other ingredients. It is used or drunk as an external remedy.

See also

Former Carmelite Monasteries:


Overall representations

  • Edeltraud Klueting , Stephan Panzer, Andreas H. Scholten (Ed.): Monasticon Carmelitanum. Monasteries of the Carmelite Order (O.Carm.) From the beginning to the present. Aschendorff Verlag, Münster 2012, ISBN 978-3-402-12954-8 ( table of contents ). Most important current presentation with articles on each monastery.
  • Max Heimbucher: The Carmelite Order. In: The Orders and Congregations of the Catholic Church. Volume 2. Munich / Paderborn / Vienna 1965.
  • Gondulf Mesters: The Order of the Carmelites. Mainz 1958.
  • Joachim Smet, Ulrich Dobhan OCD: The Carmelites. A story of the brothers UL Ms. of Mount Carmel. From the beginning (around 1200) to the Council of Trent. Freiburg / Basel / Vienna 1980.
  • Ulrich Dobhan OCD: The Spirituality of Carmel. Leutersdorf am Rhein 1990, ISBN 3-7794-1180-6 .
  • Veronika Elisabeth Schmitt OCD: The forgotten roots of Carmel. Echter, Würzburg 2008.

Individual monasteries

  • Chronicle of the Barfüßer Carmelite Monastery in Heidelberg. A contribution to the history of the Palatinate church. The German version of P. Gregor Hertwig, ed. and come by Markus A. Maesel. Regional culture publishing house, Ubstadt-Weiher 1998, ISBN 978-3-929366-94-5 .

Web links

Commons : Carmelites  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Origin of the order . Archived from the original on March 25, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  2. ^ Letter to the Prior General of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel . Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  3. [1]