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 memory of the prophets Elijah and Elisha attached to various localities in the Palestine of the crusades is very striking. Among the places associated with Elijah is Mount Carmel. Hardly a pilgrim who passed this imposing land mass on the road from Acre to Jerusalem failed to inform his readers that this was the abode of the prophet Elijah. In the case of the hermits, Carmel had an added attraction in that Elijah was considered in patristic writings and in the eremitical literature of the times to be the model and founder of the solitary way of life.
No less an authority than St. Anthony declares that “the ascetic should model his life as in a mirror after the example of the great Elijah.”
“This way of life,” St. Peter Damian attests, “to go back to the earliest examples, was begun by Elijah in the Old Testament. Elisha increased the band of disciples and developed the way of life. In the New Testament, Paul and Anthony are considered their equivalents.”
The hermits of Carmel must certainly have been aware of the peculiar appropriateness of the place they chose. They must have been conscious of continuing the life Elijah had inaugurated in that very place.