Skip to main content

Province of Upper Germany Ex

from January 2013 the two Provinces of Germany merged into one province called German Province click here to know more about the German Province

In the earliest extant Constitutions of the Carmelite Order the German Province ranks eighth of ten Provinces. By 1294 it had been divided, probably only recently, into Lower and Upper Germany. In the first half of the 14th century this division was several times rescinded and renewed and became definite in 1348.

The Upper German Province extended over a vast territory comprising not only Eastern Germany but Bohemia (Czech Rep.), Austria, Hungary and Poland. This unmanageable mass was reduced in 1411 when the Province of Bohemia was constituted from the convents in Bohemia, Poland, Prussia, Hungary, Saxony and Thuringia. However, the Hussite wars disturbed this arrangement. In 1440 the houses remaining in Bohemia and those in Poland and Hungary reverted to the Province of Upper Germany. The houses in Saxony also became a separate Province. In 1462 the Province of Poland and Bohemia was reconstituted.

Of the two German Provinces Upper Germany suffered the most from the Protestant Reformation. Fourteen of its twenty-six convents were lost; the four Hungarian convents fell victim to the Turks after the battle of Mohacs (1526). The suppression of religious Orders by Napoleon in 1803 left only the house of Straubing, where the surviving religious were allowed to remain as long as they lived. Only Peter Heitzer remained when King Louis I of Bavaria in 1841 permitted the convent to be re-opened. From this single vocation the Province gradually revived and was again constituted in 1922. In 1951 the Province undertook an apostolate in Paranà, Brazil. This Province is also responsible for the Indian foundation which has seven convents founded during these last 20 years.


As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."