Mother Veronica of the Passion

Foundress of the Apostolic Carmel
1823 – 1906
The Apostolic Carmel is the logical development of a spiritual quest of Mother Mary Veronica for a better translation of love and concern for the poor and faith in the divinity. Sophie Leeves, religiously known as Mother Mary Veronica was born in Constantinople on 1st October, 1823. Her father was Henry Daniel Leeves, an Anglican chaplain and mother, Marina Haultain. The Leeves family was very much involved in charity work and promotion of true religion and “binding up the broken hearted”. Sophie strongly believed that prayer, deep faith in God and work go together to achieve divine bliss. After a fruitful search, with the help of the Bishop of Bayonne, France, the first convent of the Apostolic Carmel was opened on 16th July, 1868 at Bayonne. Mother Veronica sent the first batch of Apostolic Carmelites to Mangalore on 19th November, 1870 and they established the first Indian convent at St. Ann’s, Mangalore. She died at Pau, on 16th November 1906 at the age of 83. The little seed sown in the heart of Mother Veronica over 150 years ago, has now grown into a mighty tree with its branches spreading over the length and breadth of India and even reaching to Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Pakistan, Kenya, France, Africa, Rome and Bahrain. The congregation has six provinces and is centrally administered by the Superior General Sr.M.Nirmalini and team from the A.C. Generalate, Bangalore.