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

Carmelite Marian Mysticism


Built on the foundation provided by the module on Mary and Carmel taught by Chris O’Donnell on the Diploma in Carmelite Studies. this module, Carmelite Marian Mysticism is designed to introduce  students to unfamiliar figures within the Carmelite family and to engage critically with their understanding and experience of marian mysticism  in a Carmelite context.

The module is divided into ten units. The first two units will provide an overview of the Carmelite experience of life with Mary, covering the firstly, the marian inspiration within the Rule of St Albert and early Carmelite writings and secondly the place of Mary in important figures of the Discalced reform and of the last two centuries. Unit 3 introduces the marian spirit of the Reform of Touraine. The remaining units focus on two figures of this reform who represent a distinctive and articulated account of marian mysticism which is little known in the English-speaking world, Michael of St Augustine and Maria Petyt.

For assessment purposes the ten units are organised into two blocks of five units (units 1 to 5 and units 6-10). You will receive units 1-5 on weeks 1-5. On week 6, you will receive the first of two questionnaires and you will need to complete and return this questionnaire within one week. On weeks 7-11 you will receive units 6-10 and, on week 12 you will receive the second of the two questionnaires, which you will need to complete and return within one week. Also on week, 12, you will receive a list of three assigned topics and you will be required to write a 3,000-3,500 word paper on your chosen topic which will need to be returned within two weeks. Both the answers to the questionnaires and the final paper must include appropriate footnotes completed according to the norms approved by Cibi. Any sources quoted or used as the basis for any material submitted for assessment, whether from printed material, internet sites, or any other media, must be properly referenced.

The assigned reading for each of the ten units of this module is given as part of the units. In their submitted assessments, students should will be expected to show that they have engaged with the relevant assigned reading. Much of the relevant biographical material is available only in Flemish or Latin but you might also try to locate some of the other background reading material on Carmelite Marian Mysticism in English listed below in the library of one of the houses of the Carmelite friars or nuns that is located near you.

  • Boaga OCarm, Emanuele, The Lady of the Place, Mary in the History and in the Life of Carmel, Rome: Edizioni Carmelitane, 2001.

  • Bruijns, Sanny, Mary’s Spiritual Journey, in Carmelite Formation: Proceedings of the International Programme for Carmelite Formators, Fatima, Portugal, 9-27 January 2001, ed. Alexander Vella – Günter Benker, Rome: Edizioni Carmelitane, 2002.

  • Bruijns, Sanny, The Role of Mary in the Life Experience and Writings of Ven. Michael of St. Augustine, in In Communion with Mary: Our Heritage and prospects for the future, Rome: Edizione Carmelitane, 2003.

  • Bruijns, Sanny, A Journey with Mary, How God Touches Our Lives. Manila: Center for Spirituality, 2004.

  • Lefevere, A., Maria Petyt, in Women Writing in Dutch, ed. by Kristiaan Aerke, New York: Garland, 1994, 231-272.

  • Michael of St Augustine OCarm, Life with Mary, a Treatise on the Marian Life by the Venerable Michael of St. Augustine O.Carm., Thomas E. McGinnis O.Carm., New York: Scapular Press, 1953.
  • Michael of St Augustine OCarm, Life in and for Mary by Ven. Michael of St. Augustine O.Carm., translated from the original Latin and edited by Rev. Venard F. Poslusney O.Carm., Chicago: Third Order Press, 1954.

  • Moynihan, J., "Two Carmelite Lovers of the Blessed Virgin",Doctrine and Life 5 (1955) 147-152.

  • Payne OCD, Steven, 'Michael of St Augustine (1621-1684) and Maria Petyt (1623-1677)', The Carmelite Tradition, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2011, pp. 97-103.

  • Smet OCarm, Joachim, The Carmelites: A History of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Darien: Carmelite Spiritual Centre, 1988,Volume III part I, pp. 36–62; Volume III part II, pp. 558–560.
  • The Mariform and Marian Life in Mary and for Mary, published by V. Poslusney o.carm., The Sword IV (1940) 14-19, 160-166, 321-337.

  • The Mariform and Marian Life in Mary and for Mary by Ven. Michael of St. Augustine, O.Carm., Mary 14/3 (1953) 103-112; 14/4 (1953) 115-116; 14/5 (1953) 108-111; 14/6 (1953) 110-112; 15 (1954) jan.-feb. 116-118; mar.-apr. 116-119.

  • Union with Our Lady: Marian writings of the Venerable Mary Petyt of St. Teresa, T.O.Carm., translated and arranged by Thomas E. McGinnis, O.Carm.; New York: The Scapular Press, [s.a.] [imprim. 1954].

  • Valabek OCarm, Redemptus M., 'Prayer among Carmelites of the Ancient Observance', Carmelus 28 (1981) 68-143.

  • Valabek OCarm, Redemptus M.,  'Mary within Mystical Experience: Our Lady in the Life and Writings of Ven. Michael of St.Augustine o.carm. and Ven. Maria Petyt T.O.Carm.', Carmel in the World 22 (1983) 85-109.

  • Valabek OCarm, Redemptus M., 'Mary Mother of Carmel I' in Our Lady and the Saints of Carmel, ed. R. M. Valabek OCarm, Rome: Edizioni Carmelitane, 1987, 269-289.

Module Tutor: Sanny Bruijns Carmelite with Christopher O'Donnell OCarm


The module is divided into 10 units, with a formative assessment and two questionnaires, spread over the period of the module, and a final examination at the end.


Once posted, 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.








Formative Assessment



























Examination Questions

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

During the listed dates, you can click on the relevant unit to access it. Once you have successfully accessed and studied the material in each set of units, please click on the relevant Formative Assessment or Questionnaire to access it when it is launched. Read the questions and write your answers under each question. Then upload your answers to the Turnitin website.

One question must be chosen from the three final Examination Questions posted and your paper answering the question of your choice should be uploaded to the Turnitin website by the required date.



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.

© Sanny Bruijns Carmelite with Christopher O'Donnell OCarm and Cibi