The long history of the Polish Province is affected by the complicated political situation of the country. The most ancient Carmelite foundation in Poland is that of Gdansk (c.1380), followed by those of Cracow (1397), Bydgoszcz (1398) and Poznan (1399). At first, these foundations as well as later ones, formed part of other Provinces: Upper Germany (1411), Bohemia (1441), Bohemia and Poland (1462). In 1598, Poland was separated from Bohemia and became an independent Province. Its geographical area was very extensive, so much so that it gave birth to the Russian Province (1687) and the reformed Polish Province of the Most Holy Sacraments (1728). In 1756, the Lithuanian Province of St. George was separated from Russia and in 1766 from the Lithuanian Province of All Saints. The extensive expansion of the Order in Eastern Europe merited an Assistant General (1750).
This splendid growth of the Carmelite Order in the Polish territory, unfortunately underwent radical changes after the partition of Poland among the Austrian, Prussian and Russian regimes. As a consequence of this dismemberment and of the decrees of suppression, hundreds of Carmelites were deported to Siberia. Nevertheless, the Polish Province did not die and in 1919 still had eight houses, substantially those which make up the Province of today. The Dutch and Spanish Carmelites helped in the restoration of the Province.
Unfortunately, after the Second World War, because of the changes in the borders of Poland, the Carmelites lost their houses in Lwow, Bolszowce, Rozdol, Sasiadowice and Trembowla. These houses were destroyed by the Soviet government which in 1945 forced the friars to abandon their own monasteries.
At present the Province of Poland has about 75 religious working in Poland, Ukraine and Italy.
For further information: Province of Poland
Klasztor OO. Karmelitów
ul. Karmelicka, 19