Carmelite Chronicles
Carmel in the Late Middle Ages

August 9, 2019 |

The general chapter of Bruges in 1297 elected Gerard of Bologna, the first Carmelite doctor at the University of Paris. This event marks the end of an era and foreshadows the coming age. Thirteenth century Carmel was predominantly eremitical; all its generals had been hermits. The generals of the coming age are doctors of theology and often retire to bishoprics.

The care of souls undertaken by the Carmelites required a theological training at the universities. In fact, the constitutions of 1281 already show the beginnings of study at the University of Paris. By the end of the 14th century, the Order had houses of study, or studia, affiliated with all the great centers of learning of Europe. The intellectual formation of its members enabled the Order to enter more profoundly into the life of the times, to share in current events, and to contribute to the dialogue over religious problems of the day.

From The Mirror of Carmel by Joachim Smet, O. Carm.

Fr. Joachim Smet O.Carm.
Fr. Joachim Smet, O.Carm. (1915-2011) was one of the leading historians of the Carmelite Order. In addition to being a founding member and President of the Institutum Carmelitanum in Rome and editor of Carmelus, a journal of Carmelite Studies, Fr. Joachim was a gifted writer. he is well-known for his four-volume work The Carmelites and his Life of Saint Peter Thomas. Among his other works: Familiar Matter of Today-Poems (2007), The Mirror of Carmel: A Brief History of the Carmelite Order, (2011), various publications on Carmelite Nuns, Carmelite Liturgy, Carmelite Libraries of Spain and Portugal and the Carmelites of Medieval England.
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