The history of the Carmelite Order in Hungary
The confessors of King Louis the Great’s (Anjou-Dinasty) mother were Carmelites, so the King settled the Order. Their convent was most likely located next to the vineyard of the Franciscans (Margit körút). Their church was dedicated to the honour of the „Mother of Mercy”. The letter of Pope Gregory XI. in which he orders the foundation of the convent, was dated on 28th of July 1372.
Vilmos, the bishop of Pécs, founded a convent in Pécs on 30th of September 1372.
Székesfehérvár and Privigye were established in 1426. In 1431 a convent was built in Eperjes.
The above mentioned convents were destroyed because of the Turkish conquest, only Eperjes remained intact for a longer time. In 1529 this convent was closed down but the remaining fathers participated in the pastoral service (in parishes).
In the 14th century the Order was living its golden age. In the territory of the Hungarian Kingdom, King Louis the Great nominated Father Ferenc of Saint Leonard to be the bishop of the Diocese of Argyas (Rumania, 1390). Blessed Antal of Hungary, martyr, departed the convent of Buda to convert the Turks. He was executed in the territory of the actual Ukraine in 1399. In Pécs, father Vitus Hündler became auxiliary bishop and in 1466 he was transferred to Győr.
In this century the Carmelites were teaching at the greatest European universities, therefore the prayerful solitude had to be given up. The next century became the century of the reforms. Saint Therese of Avlia and Saint John of the Cross took back the Order to the original spirituality. During this time the Turks had the power over Hungary, so renewed convents could not be founded.
In 1644 the hermitage of Saint Ann in Mannersdorf was established in the territory of the Diocese of Győr. After the expulsion of the Turks, cardinal Szelepcsényi founded two convents that belonged to the North-German Province of Cologne: Győr (1679) and Szakolca (1699).
At that time two Calced convents were established in Buda (the actual Institute of Theatre History) and in Székesfehérvár (actually an institute for aged priests).
In the convent of Buda, the refectory was renovated in the full bloom of its original beauty, the frescos of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Mary-Magdalen Pazzi were restored in the staircase. During the reign of Joseph II., the convents of the Hungarian territories belonged to the Austrian Province, so the decree of the dissolution of the convents affected those houses too. In 1701 the Austrian Province was established, so the houses of the Hungarian territories were also separeted from the Province of Cologne.
Father Antal published a monograph about the convent of Győr.
In 1892 a convent was established for the sisters in Sopronbánfalva under the jurisdiction of the bishop with Móricz Eszterházy’s donation.
Father István Soós founded the convent of Budapest in 1896. The church was completed in 1898.
On father István’s initiative, Rome established the Hungarian Semi – Province. The convent of Győr became the novitiate until the dissolution of the Province (1950). Next year father István founded the convent of Zombor which became part of Yugoslavia due to the peace-treaty of Trianon. In 1917 father István initiated a foundation in Bucharest but it wasn’t realized.
The sisters of Sopronbánfalva founded a convent in Szombathely under the jurisdiction of the bishop in 1906.
Due to the loss of the convent of Zombor the convent of Győr became the novitiate and the clericate as well. In 1926 the Province founded a Juvenate for secondary school students in Győr.
On 26th of June 1927, the Province founded the convent of Keszthely for the Carmelite students under the protection of Saint Therese of Lisieux. On 5th of October 1930, bishop Nándor Rott blessed the new convent. The students moved into the new building the same year. The consacration of the church took place in 1938, celebrated by the Patriarch of Venice, Carmelite cardinal Adeodatus Piazza. In 1944 the church became a Parish.
On 21st of May 1936, the sisters of Szombathely established the convent of Pécs (Tettye street), next to the chruch of All Saints.
On 22nd of June 1940, the Province founded the convent of Kunszentmárton. The church wasn’t built because of World War II and the Soviet occupation. The Carmelite students were studying philosophy there.
On 8th of November 1942, the Province established the convent of Miskolc. The temporary church and the convent were blessed by Endre Kriston, auxiliary bishop of Eger.
On 11th of August 1946, dr. Pál Sárközy, abbot of Bakonybél blessed the hermitage of Attyapuszta.
The Chapter of 24-26 July 1947, assembled by the Definitorium Generale, declared the Hungarian Discalced Carmelite Province to have full authority.
On 7th of September 1950, a departmental order deprived the Hungarian Discalced Carmelite Order of the functioning. The monks had to leave the convents.
On 28th of August 1988, we got back the convent of Budapest first, later the convents of Keszthely, Attapuszta, Kunszentmárton, Győr were also given back. The convent of Pécs and Miskolc were the property of the bishop, so they weren’t secularized.
Let us pray to God and Our Lady of Mount Carmel to protect our Province in the future as well!
The center of the Hungarian communtiy
Sarutlan Karmelita Rendtartomány Tartományfőnöksége
fr. Vörös Imre András József OCD, tartományfőnök
Adress: 1134. Budapest, Huba u. 12. Hungary
The inernational center of the community
Casa Generalizia dei Carmelitani Scalzi
Rev. N. P. Saverio Cannistrá
Address: Corso d’Italia, 38; I-00198, Rome, Italy
Other informations about the Carmelite Order