Mother Veronica of the passion Founder of the Apostolic Carmel Made by: SwagatamaMukherjee XI-B
Henry Daniel and Mariana Haultain, a loving couplewere the parents of Sophie, later named Mother Veronica, the founder of Apostolic Carmel. 7
Henry and Mariana, along with their first child, shifted to Constantinople. On 1st October,1823, their second child, Sophie was born.
When Sophie was five, she used to attend sewing classes conducted by her mother where she would learn to sew .It was then when she learnt about charity and helping the poor since the money they saved from sewing was given to the poor for their betterment.
In 1828, when the family shifted to the beautiful island of Corfu, Sophie and her sisters had lessons at home. It was here that their Catholic Maltese maid, Terese taught Sophie about Guardian Angles and blessed Mother of God. This was perhaps the beginning of Sophie’s deep love for Virgin Mary.
At seventeen, Sophie had grown into a charming young woman and moved among a large circle of friends. She and her sister frequently visited the church built by their father to spend long hours in prayer.
It was early in the morning ,no one in the house had risen, when Sophie heard a soft voice in her sleep saying to her, “ My peace I leave you, my peace I give you.” It filled her with a deep sense of joy for the days afterwards.
The Death of Sophie’s father snapped the strongest bond that held the happy family together. Meanwhile Sophie met a dashing young naval officer and soon they were engaged to get married.
Sophie continued praying in the church for longer hours now. It was then when she realized that she was meant to serve the mankind because serving selflessly to the mankind, is worshipping god. Therefore she decided to break her marriage and wrote a letter to her fiancé informing him about her desires of becoming a nun.
When Sophie and her sister, Marianne decided to dedicate their lives to God, they began to visit the Catholic Cathedral and joined a sewing circle which was conducted by a catholic lady. There they met Father Guiliani who helped them meet father Seagrave . Under his directions they continued their search for the truth .
Meanwhile when Henry, Sophie’s elder brother was ill in Euboea, and her mother had to go to nurse him , Divine Providence opened a new road for them. They were sent as boarders to the Convent of Sisters of St.Joseph of the Apparition.
The attraction Sophie and Marianne had felt towards the religious life now deepened in the atmosphere of the convent. On 19th of March, 1851, Sophie and Marianne were received as postulants in the Convent of Syros.
On the feast of Exaltation of the cross, Sophie and Marianne were given the religious dress of the Congregation.Sophie and Marianne now desired to become nuns.Sophie was now called Sister Veronica.
Sister Veronica was asked to found a house of the Congregation at Calicut, India on the Malabar Coast. She submitted gladly to this urgent call of the missions,where souls were awaiting her.
After weeks of sailing , they reached Calicut.Getting out of the boat, Sister Veronica knelt and kissed the soil of the land she had come to serve, the land evangelized by St. Thomas and St. Francis Xavier.
The Convent and school of St. Joseph’s at Calicut progressed rapidly under the guidance of Mother Veronica as she was now called. She was fond of children and God’s blessings rested on her labours.
Mother Veronica felt an inner call for Carmel. Father Marie Ephrem suggested that Mother Veronica should begin a Carmel for the Missions.
Mother Veronica who served the poor and needy in Rangoon left for London for her treatment after breaking her ankle when she slipped and fell.
Mother Veronica sent 3 of her sisters along with six cloistered Carmelites including Mother Elias , Sister Marie des Agnes, and Sister Mary of St. Joseph to found the Apostolic Carmelin India.
The Apostolic Carmel was founded at St. Ann’s Convent in Mangalore on 19th November 1870.
The St. Ann’s came to shelter three communitiesthe Cloistered Carmelites, the Apostolic Carmelites and the Carmelite Tertiaries.
In May 1891, Mother Veronica met Mother Elias who gave her the joyous news of the success of the Apostolic Carmel in India and the compilation and the publication of the journal “ Carmel in India”.