Saint Brocard

St. Brocard (d. 1231 A.D.) was a Frenchman who traveled to the Holy Land to enter into religious life there. He was among the first group of hermits to establish a community of monks on Mount Carmel. Details of his life are scarce, but it is believed that St. Brocard was the prior of the community after the death of St. Berthold, who is considered to be the founder of the Carmelites. Brocard, as the new leader of the community, desired to formalize the monks' way of life on Mt. Carmel. He requested that St. Albert, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, write and establish a rule of life for the community, which he then imposed on the group as their discipline. The Rule of St. Albert established the Carmelites as a new religious order. St. Brocard was considered an expert on Islam and Eastern affairs and was to accompany St. Albert to the Fourth Lateran Council, were it not for St. Albert's murder before the Council convened. The Council suppressed the creation of new religious orders, which put the Carmelites in a tenuous position as they were not approved by the Holy See prior to this new decree. St. Brocard led the community through an uncertain period until they achieved special approval from the Holy Father. St. Brocard's feast day is September 2nd.

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