Carmelite Chronicles
Evolution of the Order

July 30, 2019 |

Not long thereafter, we find the Carmelites requesting the papal privileges. In 1252, Innocent IV gave them permission to have churches with a belfry and one bell – the sign of a public church – and a cemetery for their own use. Innocent IV granted the prior general the right of bestowing faculties on his subjects for preaching and hearing confessions. In 1262, Urban IV allowed them to bury laymen in their cemeteries provided the canonical portion of the parish priest was satisfied.

These faculties are compatible with the eremitical life – preaching and spiritual direction are known occupations of hermits – but they no doubt served to draw the Carmelites into the active life.

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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