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A monastic Order inherited
from a hermitage tradition


L'histoire du Carmel: À propos

Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are brothers and sisters of Our Lady! The model of consecration in our religious family is that of the Virgin Mary, the mystery of her union to Christ.

Late 12th century, pilgrims and crusaders who came to the Holy Land, willing to settle there, established at Mount Carmel, a mountain range in North Israel. They led a life of brother hermits, following Elijah’s footsteps, in the where he had himself lived with his brother prophets.

The desert, the mountain are therefore the foundation of our monastic life. The primitive Rule given by the Patriarch of Jerusalem between 1206 and 1214 invited them to follow and serve Christ by meditating on the Word of God day and night.

After the Saracens’ incursions, the brothers of the Carmel widespread in the West. Recluses or "beguines" gathered together, becoming ae community of Carmelites specially with Françoise d'Amboise in Vannes (France) in 1464.

It was in one of these monasteries, in Avila, Spain, that Teresa of Ahumada entered on November 2, 1535. In 1562, Teresa inaugurated a new small San Jose Carmel, strongly established in prayer, poverty, enclosure. This was made possible by the small number of sisters in the community, and the a desire to go back to the origins of the Order.

Community life is demanding there. The apostolic intention is clear: Teresa lived the misfortunes of the times (Protestant reform, abandoned American Indians) as a personal drama: she wanted to do something !


"  The vocation of the Carmelites
is a gift of the Spirit which invites to secret union with God in a great love for the Church.  »

Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelites n° 10


Founded in 1873 by a group of Carmelites from Carpentras, France, it is part of the long monastic tradition of Mount of Olives.


The mount of Olives is a scene of several events which took place in the Old Testament, and the place where the feet of the Lord will stand when His Glory will come back to Jerusalem (according to Zechariah 14, 3-4). Christ and his apostles often came to the Mount of Olives. According to the tradition, Jesus taught them the “Our Father” prayer there, and gave the eschatological discourses.

In 325, when St Helena arrived in the Holy Land, in addition to the Holy Sepulchre and the Basilica of the Nativity, she had the Basilica of Eléona built at the top of the mount of Olives, at the place of the “grotto of the Teachings”. And also a building in honour of the Ascension.

From that time, an intense monastic life developed on the Mount of Olives, with significant figures such as Melanie the Elder and Melanie the Younger. In the 7th century, the massacre of many monks, during the Persian invasion marked a first vigorous attack against monastic life. The stoppage of this monastic life on the mount occurred in 1998, when Saladin conquered Jerusalem and all Christians.

In the 19th century, the Latin patriarchal seat was re-established in Jerusalem in 1847. At that time, Princess Aurélie de la Tour d'Auvergne entirely devoted herself to making the mountain a place for worship and prayer. She met Mother Xavier, a French Carmelite nun, who carried a deep inner call to found a Carmel in Jerusalem. They met thousand vicissitudes. Yet, Divine Providence watched over their plans and a Carmel could be founded on the mount of Olives, adjoining what remained of the ancient basilica of Eléona. Mother Aloysia, from the French Carmel of Carpentras, was its first prioress.

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