125th anniversary of the Monastery of Carmelite nuns in Haifa

Reading the history of the foundation of the monastery of Discalced Carmelites of Mount Carmel, I remembered the words that St. Gregory the Great wrote in his commentary on the search for the Lord by Mary Magdalene: «her desires have grown thanks to her waiting, and growing, have been able to realize what they had found. For the waiting grows the holy desires. If the wait makes them fall, then they were not true desires» (Commentary of the Gospels, 25, 2).

It has not been easy to start this foundation, it has taken a gestation of at least 19 years, but it has not been easy to maintain the presence either. In the first monastery near the sea, in Zaourah (Zawara, nowadays Bat-Galim), the sisters were from 1892 to 1936, with a parenthesis during the years of World War I, in which the community had to move to France. On their return to their monastery, the political and urban changes, together with the development of the port of Haifa and the construction of the great hospital, made them move towards the hill, not far from the convent of the Carmelite Fathers, on rue Tchernikhovsky, inaugurated on 1st January 1937.

Today the community is composed of 18 sisters, from 11 different nationalities, each of whom brings to the community «symphony» her accent, her tone, her hue and her color. One can be rightly said that the community of Haifa belongs to the entire Order.

The entire Carmelite family looks to this Mount, where it has its source and roots. Beside that which is Beauty and splendor of Carmel, the Lord has willed that there be brothers and sisters, so that their good, poor in goods and rich in humanity, may be the most beautiful and most similar icon to Mary. This is my desire and my prayer for this community.

P. Saverio Cannistrà, Superior General ocd


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