Carmel of St Saulve

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The History of our Monastery

As early as the 13th century, Carmelite monks came from the Holy Land to settle in Valenciennes. In 1618, Isabelle de St Paul arrived from Spain to found the first French Carmelite monastery of nuns in Paris (1604). Destroyed during the French Revolution, the monastery was refounded in 1924 in the heart of the city by Mother Marie de Jésus di Rudini of the Carmel of Paray-le-Monial. In 1949, the community acquired a more spacious propoerty at St Saulve of Valenciennes and transferred there.

The monastery today

The Chapel, which remains open throughout most of the day, offers a place of silence and beautiy conducive to interiority: many come there to take a spiritual halt or to assist at one of the offices.

The monastery’s boutique offers a variety of items produced by the Sisters : knitting by machine, sewing, liturgical vestments, icon reproductions mounted on wood, caning, decorated candles, cards… Two exposition-sales in May and November attract numerous visitors.

Special features of our monastery

The Chapel of the Carmel of St Saulve, completed in 1966, is inscribed today in the supplementary inventory of Historical Monuments. Its very modern style was based on a design of the Hungarian sculptor Pierre Szekely and the plans of the Valencien architect Claude Guislain. Over the altar and the Choir of the nuns a diffuse light, coming from the stanied glass skylights, evokes the precious stones of the New Jerusalem (Ap. 21).

Conceived as a sculpture in a garden, the architectural whole plays, exteriorly as well as interiorly, on an omnipresent symbolism.



  • Federation : France-Nord
  • Diocese : Cambrai
  • Ecclesiastical Province : Lille

Contact our monastery

Carmel de Saint-Saulve
1, rue Henri Barbusse

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