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The Foundation of the Pater Noster Carmel: it was 150 years ago!

“What a magnificent view! On one side, Jerusalem spreads on the Moriah mountainside, and on the other side the Dead Sea, the road to Bethany, Bethsphage. So close on the right, the place of the Ascension.” These are the words Mother Xavier chose to express her delight in her diary, in the evening of her encounter with the Princess of the Tour d’Auvergne, on April 19th, 1872, on the place where the monastery was to be built. 150 years later, this place has changed a lot! Many new houses have been built on the mount of Olives and its surroundings. Yet the memories of this conclusive encounter between these two women isn’t buried under stones! “Remember the wonders He has done” (Ps 105:5). The psalmist urges us! And so, we answer by celebrating 150 years of our foundation!

On October 15th 2022, the feast of saint Teresa of Avila marked the beginning of the year celebrating the 150 years of our foundation. Hence, we displayed objects linked to the foundation of our monastery. On the pillars of the cloister, we set old pictures of the mount of Olives as it was years ago. The people having participated to the Eucharist presided by our Patriarch could gaze on them happily after Mass. They were first of all welcomed by the Bambino Gesù (the Little Child Jesus) from Italy, given to the Princess for our carmel in 1882. It had travelled by boat, passing by Marseille (France). They could also discover the portraits of our three foundresses, and the Child Jesus of the carmel of Carpentras (France) which founded our carmel. Finally, they were protected by St Joseph who, from the beginning, keeps an eye on the door leading to the cloister.

We keep in our hearts what could be seen and touched in this exhibition. May it nourish our prayer and prayers for our community. “Prayer, because it is nourished by the gift of God present and at work in our lives, must always be marked by remembrance. […] God wished to enter history, and so our prayer is interwoven with memories.” (Gaudete et exultate:153). This remembrance repels us! Saint Teresa of Avila, Foundress of Carmel wanted us to build every day, saying that we are ourselves a foundation to those who will enter later (cf. Book of Foundations 4,6).

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