Carmelite Spirituality is one of the ancient traditions of the Roman Catholic church. The ‘Carmelite Family’ developed from hermits dwelling on Mount Carmel in the twelfth century Palestine; priest and lay people living a contemplative existence modelled on the prophet Elijah and the Virgin Mary, and following a Rule given to them by Saint Albert.
As well as friars, nuns and sisters, lay people have always played a major part in the life of the Carmelite Family.
Contemplation is the heart of Carmelite spirituality and over the centuries ‘Carmel’ has produced some of the greatest Christian saints, poets, and philosophers, such as Teresa of Jesus (of Avila), John of the cross, and Thérèse of Lisieux (all three of them ’Doctors of the Church’). More recently the Carmelite Family bore witness to the Christian Gospel in the martyrdoms of Titus Brandsma, Edith Stein, and Isidore Bakanja.
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