The Primitive Rule of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel

The Primitive Rule of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel given by St. Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem and corrected, emended and confirmed by Pope Innocent IV.

Albert, called by God's favour to be Patriarch of the Church of Jerusalem, bids health in the Lord and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to his beloved sons in Christ, Brocard and the other hermits under obedience to him, who live near the spring of Elias on Mount Carmel. 

Many and varied are the ways (cf. Heb 1:1) in which our saintly forefathers laid down how everyone, whatever his station or the kind of religious observance he has chosen, should live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 10:5) - how, pure in heart and steadfast in conscience (cf. 1 Tim 1:5), he must be unswerving in the service of his Master. 

It is to me, however, that you have come for a rule of life in keeping with your avowed purpose, a rule you may hold fast to henceforward; and therefore: 

The first thing I require is for you to have a Prior, one of yourselves, who is to be chosen for the office by common consent, or that of the greater and maturer part of you. Each of the others must promise him obedience - of which, once promised, he must try to make his deeds the true reflection (cf. 1 Jn 3:18) - and also chastity and the renunciation of ownership. 

If the Prior and brothers see fit, you may have foundations in solitary places, or where you are given a site that is suitable and convenient for the observance proper to your Order. 


Next, each one of you is to have a separate cell, situated as the lie of the land you propose to occupy may dictate, and allotted by disposition of the Prior with the agreement of the other brothers, or the more mature among them. 

However, you are to eat whatever may have been given you in a common refectory, listening together meanwhile to a reading from Holy Scripture where that can be done without difficulty. 

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