In the first decade of the 15th century, a movement of reform originated in the Tuscan province.
Religious fervor had already begun to decline in the second half of the 14th century; the laxity which is only too apparent in the 15th century, the Age of the Renaissance, is but an acute form of old diseases.
During the 15th century, the life of the Order was intimately linked to the frequent general councils attended by the major superiors and the best talent of the Order.
The early years of the Order’s intellectual life produced several literary figures of note.
During the 14th century the Order continued to grow, but at a considerably slower pace. By the end of the century, there were about three hundred houses, as many again as in the previous century, but it took twice as long to do it.
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.