The general chapter of Bruges in 1297 elected Gerard of Bologna, the first Carmelite doctor at the University of Paris.
The years of the Order’s early expansion in Europe also witnessed the growth and shaping of its devotion to Our Lady.
The prior general, Nicholas of France, has left an account (1270) of his visitation of the Order.
Not long thereafter, we find the Carmelites requesting the papal privileges.
Only a decade after a portion of the Carmelites had fled to Europe, we find them considering a modification of their formula vitae.
According to the Dominican, Vincent of Beauvais (d. 1264), the Carmelites migrated to Europe in 1238.
During the second decade of the century the hermits of Carmel sought to solidify their juridical status. In 1226, they obtained confirmation of their “norm of living” from Pope Honorius III.
The site chosen fo the hermitage, the fountain of Elijah, is worthy of note, for it was to have a profound influence on the charism of the Order.
The formula vitae outlined by the patriarch echoes the style of life of the oriental monks in the laurae of Palestine.
The first appearance of western hermits on Mt. Carmel was in 13th century literature but the fact that other eremitical locations were now under Muslim control, suggest that refugees from other parts of Palestine found a haven on Carmel.