Carmelite Nuns; Daughters of Saint Teresa

Originated c.1452 with the affiliation of Beguine communities to the ancient Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Several of these semi-monastic groups, organized in the Netherlands in the 12th century, approacbed Blessed John Soreth, General of the Carmelite Order (1451-1471), requesting to be affiliated. He gave them the rule and constitutions of the friars, adding some special regulations. The Carmelite nuns as they exist today, however, may claim Saint Teresa as foundress, since the reform she inaugurated, 1562, amounted virtually to the establishment of a distinct order. The Teresians spread so rapidly that in fifteen years sixteen foundations had been made. Tbe order was introduced into Italy, France, Belgium, England, and Ireland. They came to the United States in 1790, and in 1875 to Canada. Offshoots of the French congregation are in Australia and Cochin-China. The Carmelite nun is strictly cloistered and leads a contemplative and severely mortified life. There is no mother-house, each convent being directed by a prioress under episcopal jurisdiction, or under the Fathers of the order, and each maintaining its own novitiate. No community may exceed 21 nuns. Tbey have 497 convents established in almost every country of the world, and the religious number about 10,000.

New Catholic Dictionary

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