Community Of Al Fayoum : History

Egypt, Al Fayoum – Carmel of the Holy Family in exile and Saint Therese of the Child Jesus – 1927

In the year 1914 (24th October) our sisters of Carmel du Pater had to leave the Holy Land. They settled in Cairo, in Matarieh, in a temporary house placed at their disposal by the Mother Superior of the convent of Our Lady of the Apostles. They remained in Egypt until the end of the war in 1918 (three of them would return on 24 December 1918 to restore the monastery, and the community would return on 31 May 1919). With the joy of returning to their monastery of the Pater in Jerusalem, they had the trouble of leaving their house in Matarieh. The sisters said goodbye to the land of Egypt, promising all friends and benefactors that they would one day return.

This promise was fulfilled on 21 November 1927: Following a significant earthquake which had greatly damaged the monastery and necessitated major work, a group of nuns from the Carmel of the Pater was able to form a group to return to Egypt. It was also in Matarieh, the place where, according to tradition, the Virgin had stopped with Joseph and Jesus, that they founded a monastery in honour of the Exiled Holy Family.

In the 1980s and 1990s the Matarieh district began to be overcrowded, especially in the area around the monastery. On 19 October 1996 the community moved to Al Fayoum, a region southeast of Cairo.