The Carmelite Order - its official title is the Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Ordo Fratrum Beatae Virginis Mariae de Monte Carmelo) - is a Roman Catholic religious order which was founded on Mount Carmel (in what is now Israel) in the twelfth century by a group of pilgrims and crusaders. In the thirteenth century the Order moved from the Middle East, establishing itself first in Cyprus and Sicily and then in England and France; and in 1452 an Order of Carmelite Nuns was founded. In the sixteenth century the entire Order was reformed by the Spanish nun and mystic, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), who along with St. John of the Cross, also established the Discalced Carmelites. (The adjective 'discalced', which literally means 'without shoes' or 'barefoot', is applied to friars and nuns who wear sandals rather than shoes.)
The Carmelite Order is a contemplative order, which follows a revised version of the Rule of St. Albert, the twelfth-century Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. Carmelite friars are sometimes referred to as White Friars from the colour of their habits.
- Whitefriar is sometimes used as a street name, or for other addresses in older towns, where it commemorates a house of the Order. There is, for example, Whitefriargate in Hull.