Only a decade after a portion of the Carmelites had fled to Europe, we find them considering a modification of their formula vitae. This document, drawn up for a single hermitage, no longer suited their worldwide circumstances. The first foundations had indeed been made in remote places, but we soon see the hermits settling in more populated areas. This involved, too, a more cenobitical lifestyle. In
1247, accordingly, the Carmelites sent envoys to Pope Innocent IV, then residing at Lyons, requesting “that he deign to clarify and correct certain doubts and mitigate certain severities” in the Rule of St. Albert. The pope charged Cardinal Hugh of St. Cher and William, Bishop of Anterados (Tartous), both Dominicans, with the task and upon its completion, on October 1, 1247, issued his letter, Quae honorem, modifying the Carmelite Rule.
The most notable changes are: foundations need no longer be made in desert places only, meals are to be taken in common, the recitation of the canonical office is imposed, the time of silence is confined between compline and prime, the abstinence is mitigated in favor of those travelling and begging their way.
The revision of the Rule of 1247 is sometimes said to have made an active order of the Carmelites, but the obligation to remain in the cell and pray, together with other eremitical elements, remains in force. Only in the 15th century did the
Carmelites cease to be hermits, though in theory, not in practice.