The Carmelite Order

The Carmelite Friars are an international Catholic religious order, founded in the early thirteenth century on Mount Carmel, Palestine. 

The Sacred Scriptures speak of the the beauty of Mount Carmel in Palestine (pictured above) where the Prophet Elijah defended the faith of Israel in the living God. There, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, under the title of "Saint Mary of Mount Carmel", the Order of Carmelites had its formal beginning with a community of hermits. Mary was revered on Carmel as "The Lady of the Place", and she came to be regarded as "Patron of the Order", and "Sister of Carmelites".

From the fourteenth century this title - The Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel - recalling the countless blessings of the Order's patron, began to be solemnly celebrated, first in England and then gradually throughout the whole Order.

The Carmelites originally came to Britain in 1242 and were based all across these isles until they were dissolved by Henry VIII at the Reformation in the 1530s.

In the twentieth century, the Carmelites returned to England after 400 years, first to Faversham and then to Aylesford. Today, the Carmelites main purpose is to work with the people of God through prayer, fraternity and service; it works alongside all people of faith and goodwill, which is done through traditional Christian ministry and by being available to those who are often at the edges of Church and society. The Trust serves the community throughout Britain: directing a large retreat centre, running parishes, working in prisons and hospitals, working at the University of York Chaplaincy, and running the Shrine of Saint Jude. It also supports Carmelite communities across the world, but particularly in Colombia, East Timor and Kenya.

Since 1955, donations received at the Shrine of Saint Jude have enabled the charity to support the presence and ministries of the Carmelite Friars in Great Britain and worldwide, including the training of new friars.