Community of Nazareth: History

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man of the house of David, named Joseph. The virgin’s name was Mary.
(Luke 1: 26-27)

 

The Carmel of Nazareth was born from a request of our Lord to Carmelite Sister Mariam of Jesus Crucified (Mariam Baouardy, 1846-1878) in which Jesus told her “I want a Carmel in Nazareth.”

Mariam was canonized in 2015 by Pope Francis. She is among the first two Palestinian saints of modern times.

In 1867, Mariam received the Carmelite religious habit in the Carmel of Pau, France. In 1875, she left Pau with a group of Sisters to found a Carmel in Bethlehem. Shortly after arriving, she declared to Bishop Vincent Bracco, Patriarch of Jerusalem, that Our Lord also wanted a Carmel in Nazareth to honor the Incarnation of the Son of God who was conceived by the work and grace of the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary. In 1878, authorizations from Rome for this new Carmel’s foundation arrived. In April 1878, Mariam came to Nazareth in order to inspect the land acquired for the future monastery. Shortly after her return to Bethlehem, Mariam entered Eternal Life on August 26, 1878. On July 28, 1907, the first stone was laid for construction of the new Carmel.

On October 27, 1910, eleven founding Carmelites arrived from Bethlehem, including Sister Marie- Elisabeth de la Visitation, the first Prioress. On November 14, 1910, the Feast of All Carmelite Saints, Carmelite life began in this new “Carmel of the Holy Family.”