The Carmelites originate from a group of Christians who, seeking a deeper way of life, settled on Mount Carmel in Israel 800 years ago. In the 1560s, in Spain, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross began founding new communities of Carmelite women and men that sought to return to the simplicity and passion of their forebears on Mount Carmel; these women and men wore sandals to signify their radical commitment to Jesus and so were known as Discalced (barefoot) Carmelites.
Carmelite life is Christian life. Hence, it is a life of constant conversion as we strive to live in allegiance to and discipleship of Jesus Christ. In this endeavour, the Blessed Virgin Mary is our model and companion. Like her, our call is to a ‘hidden union with God’ for the sake of the Church and the world.