The Carmelite Order has an uncertain background. It had its origins in Palestine in the 12th century on Mount Carmel Massif when a group of hermits, maybe Crusaders, devoted themselves to a mendicant way of life. From the 13th century it spread throughout Western Europe, Italy, France, Spain and England.
In the West the hermits joined the mendicant orders. In the 16th century in Spain, St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross reformed the feminine and the masculine branches of the order and founded a new religious order: the Discalced Carmelite Order, which is still nowadays widespread all over the world.
From Spain, after the end of the 16th century, it began to spread across Europe. The first Carmelite convent outside Spanish borders was our Convent of Sant'Anna, founded in Genoa in 1584. It was erected outside the city walls as commissioned by Father Niccolò Doria and since the beginning it had a pharmacy for the treatment of friars and peasants, together with a theological college for the training of young monks.
Today, almost five centuries after its foundation, the friars live permanently in this convent, and continue enriching and preserving it.
Our convent keeps on being a formation house for young friars, a place to study and research in Carmelite knowledge and spirituality. We promote prayer with families and, thanks to a willing group of friends, we animate pastoral initiatives aimed at promoting awareness about our missions in Africa and our spirituality.