Mother veronica nee Sophie Leeves, was born in 1823 at Constantinople, in a God fearing, Cultured English family. She had all the opportunities for sound education and rich experience. She was fluent in many languages such as English, Greek, French, Italian and German. A lover of music, She could sing and play on musical instruments. She enjoyed the beauty of nature and had great love and concern for the poor, the sick and the disabled, helping then in every way. Her Father encouraged her to travel far and wide. Both patents took keen interest in her welfare and spent time with her and so she was emotionally secure, able to face the challenges that came her way later in life.
Even though she was endowed with the good things of the world, her heart longed for intimacy with the good things of the world, her heart longed for intimacy with God. She became a Sister of St. Joseph’s of the Apparition. As such she spent some time in India at St.Joseph’s of the Apparition. As such she spent some times in India at St. Joseph’s Convent, Calicut in 1862, where she learned some Malayalam and worked as a sister, teacher, boarding mistress and orphan’s mistress. It was there that she was asked to found an Indian Order – the Apostolic Carmel, which would meet the educational needs of the young women along the Malabar Coast.
Later Mother Veronica founded the Apostolic Carmel at Bayonne France in 1868. Due to unfavorable circumstances she had to close this Convent by 1873, when she joined the Cloistered Carmel at Pau, France. Meantime, some of the sisters trained by her proceeded to Mangalore established St. Ann’s Convent there in 1870. Today we have a large number of Apostolic Carmel Institutions in India and abroad. These institutions cater of the educational, spiritual, emotional and social development of children of all castes and creeds at every level of development.