Known as the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Carmelites are unique, in that they claim no founder. Hermits lived on Mt. Carmel in pre-Christian times, and Christian hermits continued to do so. St. Berthold attempted to gather these hermits into an organized community in 1154. Albert the Patriarch of Jerusalem petitioned Rome that they be recognized as an order within the Church. They were given the Rule of St. Augustine to follow and were grouped with the emerging mendicant orders.
Their life was one of extreme asceticism. They came to England after the failure of the Crusades, arriving around 1240. They lived in monasteries, called priories, and at their height had 50 houses before the Dissolution. Their nickname, The White Friars, came from the color of the cloaks they wore over their brown habits.
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