Mother Veronica nee Miss Sophie Leeves, Foundress of the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel, Mangalore, was deeply religious and highly intellectual. She was English, the daughter of an Anglican Chaplain to the British Embassy at Constantinople. Born on October 1, 1823, she was received into the Catholic Church on February 2, 1850. A life of prayer and renunciation culminated in the dedication of her whole self to education of youth in the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Apparition. On September 14, 1851, she took the name of Sister Mary Veronica of the Passion.
She came to India and at Calicut met the saintly Carmelite Bishop Marie Ephrem, who guided her in her work of founding the Apostolic Carmel, a Congregation of Carmelite women devoted to teaching. She obtained the sanction of the Holy See and leaving her own Congregation, she joined the Carmel of Pau, France, and then prepared a band of young girls, French, English and Irish, and sent them to India in 1870.
Three years later, when the Apostolic Carmel was firmly established on Indian soil, she returned to the Carmel of Pau, making the Apostolic Carmel the special object of her prayers and affection. In 1906, God called her to Himself, to reward her for her life of love, labour and sacrifice.
Today the Sisters cater to the needs of children in Primary, High Schools, Teacher-Training Institutions, Degree Colleges and Technical Schools,( which are conducted both in the Regional Language and in the English Medium) as well as in Hospitals, Crèches, Children’s Homes, Hostels and Boarding Houses in India, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Pakistan, Bahrain, France, Italy, Kenya and Tanzania .
May she always be our guide
Almighty God, we praise and thank you for
our foundress, Mother Veronica. Her beautiful
life is a constant inspiration to all of us; to
strive for what is good, noble, true and lasting.
May the values she cherished, upheld and
lived for, guide us in making right choices in
our own lives. May we always experience her
care and protection.
We earnestly ask you O God, to bestow on her the honour of sainthood so that through her powerful intercession we may obtain all that we need to make our lives sublime and fruitful in love and service. Amen.