Carmelite Chronicles From East to West

May 28, 2012

According to the Dominican, Vincent of Beauvais (d. 1264), the Carmelites migrated to Europe in 1238. Nevertheless, the hermits must have suffered disturbance, for it is at this period that a number of them decided to return or migrate to the West. A religious foundation in the open countryside was always prey to raids by bands of bedouins or other hostile groups. “The inroads of the pagans,” Innocent IV was to write later, “have driven our beloved sons, the hermits of Mount Carmel, to betake themselves, not without great affliction of spirit, to parts across the sea.”

Pope Innocent IV

Foundations were made in Messina in Sicily, Aylesford and Hulne in England (1242), and Les Aygalades near Marseilles in Provence. It was probably at this time, too, that the Carmelites crossed to Cyprus, to Fortamia (today probably Karmi, near Nicosia) – a less drastic removal from the Holy Land.

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

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