Berthold of Calabria

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Saint Berthold
Born Limoges, France
Died ~1195 AD
Honored in
Roman Catholic Church
Feast March 29

Berthold of Calabria (French Berthold de Malifaye; died 1195) was a French crusader who instituted a hermit colony on Mount Carmel in 1185.[1][2] He was introduced as Saint Berthold of Mount Carmel into Carmelite literature about the year 1400 and said to have been a general of the Order before Brocard.[3]

Berthold de Malafaye was not from Calabria in South Italy but only known as Calabrian as a euphemism for "Westerner." [4] He was a son of the Count of Limoges born in Malifaye in south west France, and was a nephew of Aymeric of Malifaye, the Latin patriarch of Antioch.[5] He was a relative of Aymeric, the Latin patriarch of Antioch who was installed in Antioch during the crusades.[6]

He went to the Holy Lands as a Crusader and was in Antioch during its siege by the Saracens. It was around this time that Berthold had a vision of Christ denouncing the evil ways of the soldiers. At the time, there were a number of hermits from the West scattered throughout Palestine.[6] Some accounts hold that in 1185 he came to Mount Carmel and built a small chapel there, gathering a community of hermits about him living in imitation of the prophet Elijah. This community has sometimes been thought to have given rise to the Order of Carmelites, but this is not supported by any clear evidence and is generally discounted by historians of the Order. Berthold lived out his days on Mount Carmel, ruling the community he had founded for forty-five years until his death about 1195.[6]

Tradition holds that he was succeeded as leader of the hermits by St. Brocard. His feast day is on March 29.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ The medieval and Reformation church Hubert Jedin, John Patrick Dolan, David Larrimore Holland - 1993 - Page 104 "In 1247 Innocent IV included the Carmelites among the mendicant orders. Simon Stock became their first general (1247-65). But their origins go back to the twelfth century, to a hermit colony, which the crusader, Berthold of Calabria (d. 1195) had instituted on Mount Carmel in 1185. ."
  2. ^ Philip Schaff History of the Christian Church, Volume V: The Middle Ages. 1966 "Our first trustworthy notice is derived from Phocas, a Greek monk, who visited Mt. Carmel in 1185. Berthold of Calabria, a Crusader, made a vow under the walls of Antioch that in case the Christians were victorious over Zenki, he would devote himself to the monastic life. The prayer was answered, and Berthold with ten companions ..."
  3. ^ Staring, Adrian. "Brocard", carmelnet
  4. ^ Peter-Thomas Rohrbach Journey to Carith: The Sources and Story of the Discalced ... 2007- Page 37 "He was a Calabrian, a literary euphemism for “Western,” and tradition claims that he was a Frenchman from Malifaye in ... He was a nephew of Aymeric of Malifaye, the Latin patriarch of Antioch, a man to whom the Carmelite writers of the ..
  5. ^ Juniper B. Carol Mariology 1961 "About 1155, a Crusader from Calabria, Berthold of Malifaye, son of the Count of Limoges, with ten companions retired to Mt. Carmel and began living there as a hermit."
  6. ^ a b c Stevens, Clifford. The One Year Book of Saints, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington, Indiana

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