This module is part of the Distance Learning Website of the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI)


This online module has been designed to introduce students to the early history of the Carmelites, to explore the way in which the Carmelite charism was expressed in the Formula of Life given to the Carmelites by St Albert, and to reflect on the way in which that Formula of Life was modified to become the Carmelite Rule. It covers such topics as:

  • the historical background, the Crusades
  • the identity of the first Latin hermits on Mount Carmel
  • the Formula of Life that St Albert of Jeruselem wrote for the Carmelites
  • the history of the brother hermits on Mount Carmel
  • the move to Europe
  • the promulgation of the Rule by Pope Innocent IV.

Suggested Bibliography:

The following books or sections of books provide some helpful background material. At least one of them should be read in conjunction with completing this module. They may be available from the Carmelite Book Service, Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford OX1 5HB, UK, see they are not available through this source, you might try to locate a copy from one of the libraries listed under "Resources" in the "Students" section of the Cibi website.

  • Cicconetti, Carlo, OCarm, The Rule of Carmel, translated by Gabriel Pausback O.Carm, edited and abridged by Paul Hoban, O.Carm, Darien, Illinois: Carmelite Spiritual Center, 1984.

  • Friedman, Elias, OCD, The Latin Hermits of Mount Carmel: A Study in Carmelite Origins, Rome: Teresianum, 1979.

  • Mullins, Patrick, O.Carm., St Albert of Jerusalem and the Roots of Carmelite Spirituality. Rome: Edizioni Carmelitane, 2012.

  • Smet, Joachim, OCarm, The Carmelites A History of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Ca. 1200 A.D. Until the Council of Trent, Rome: Carmelite Institute, 1975, pp. 1-33.

  • Celebrating St. Albert and His Rule: Devotion, Orthodoxy and Dissent, edited by Michelle M. Sauer and Kevin J. Alban O.Carm., Rome: Edizioni Carmelitane, 2017.

Module Tutor: Pat Mullins OCarm


The module is divided into 8 units, with 4 questionnaires, spread over the period of the module, and a concluding assessment at the end.


Once posted online, each unit will be available until the end of the module. The dates on which each of the units, and the other material for this module, is available in the calendar in the Student Section.



Units 1 & 2

Units 3 & 4

Questionnaire 1

Units 5 & 6

Units 7 & 8

Questionnaire 2

Units 9 & 10

Units 11 & 12

Questionnaire 3

Units 13 & 14

Units 15 & 16

Questionnaire 4

Concluding Assessment

Please click HERE to access the STUDENT SECTION for module start and end dates

From the date corresponding to the relevant Monday (see main web page of, you can click on the relevant unit to access it. 

    Once you have successfully accessed and studied the material in each pair of units, please click on the relevant questionnaire to access it when it is launched. Read the questions and send your answers by email to the course administrator: [email protected]

One question must be chosen from the three concluding assessment questions posted and the answer must be submitted by email on or before the date indicated to the administrator:

[email protected]




The author of the course holds the copyright to this material (text, graphic and other); distribution to family or friends, or publication (including on internet) of any part of the material is not permitted without the author’s explicit written permission.