Avenue de la Toison d'Or 45
01 January - 31 December
Mon 7.30 - 20.00
Tue 7.30 - 20.00
Wed 7.30 - 20.00
Fri 7.30 - 20.00
Sat 7.30 - 20.00
Sun 9.00 - 20.00
The facade of the 19th century church, in Italian Neo-Gothic style, has the charm of a slightly curved shape. It is arranged in a “triptych”, and contains a double staircase with balusters that lead to a raised portico. The entryway carries the polychrome coat of arms of the Carmel and the Order’s motto: “With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord…”
On the ocher facade, decorated with pinnacles and the three statues, one can see Our Lady of Mount Carmel at the top, as if she is watching over the city. And further down, on the “shutters” opposite us, one can see Saint Teresa of Ávila and Saint Joseph, to whom this church is dedicated.
In Neo-Gothic style, from the church of Saint Barbara in Brussels. Placed at the beginning of the center aisle that leads to the altar, reminds us of the baptism serving as an entryway to the life of the Church. The square base symbolizes universality. The octagonal shape of the basin reminds us of the “7 days of the Creation + 1”, signs of a new life, received though the rite of baptism. The edge of the basin is decorated with an inscription in Gothic letters, derived from the Gospel (in Latin): “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved…” (Mark 16).
During the day, one’s gaze spontaneously goes to the stained glass windows in the central part (19th century). To the Virgin and the Child, the Virgin of Carmel, who hands over the scapular to Saint Simon Stock, as a token of her motherly protection of the Order. She is surrounded by Teresa of Ávila and John of the Cross, emblematic figures of the Karmel reform.
In the evening, when the stained glass windows have gone dark and the spotlights are switched on, the eye is fascinated by the gorgeous crucifix that hangs from the vault (17th century): “When I shall be lifted from the earth, I shall draw all things unto me.” The long Eucharist table is one of the first witnesses of the liturgical reform after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).
Dedicated to Saint Joseph and Saint Teresa of Ávila, their statues from the 19th century hold some surprises. Saint Joseph is crowned. Crowning a statue means the encouragement of local worship: it is “God crowning His own gifts”. This rite is performed by a papal representative.
Teresa of Ávila wore a “Doctor of the Church” hat long before the recognition of this title by Pope Paul VI in 1970. She is depicted with a book and a flaming arrow as a quill, to indicate that it was the divine fire that pierced her that she wants to convey.
They were created in 1959 in the abbey of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire (France), after drawings by a monk from La-Pierre-qui-Vire (France). The process, which is completely new, was formed during the wars, a period in which much had to be rebuilt, while the adventure of the Creation was continued.
The technique consists of the shredding of colored glass sheets in the mass to bend the light, the shards are then assembled into a mosaic and welded together with a network of reinforced concrete. The transient light offers itself to us. It moves us. It is the subject of these stained glass windows. It invites us to move from luminous matter to immortal light.
The current organ has been expanded several times since its creation in 1869. It was renovated in 1934, 1962, and 2000. In 1962, the organ builder merged the so-called “romantic” organ with the so-called “classical” organ, which came back into fashion. The monumental ensemble rests on a Neo-Gothic rood screen. On the frieze that decorates the balcony, one can find verses of Psalm 150: “Laudate Dominum…” Praise God in his sanctuary. Praise him with all instruments… What talented organ players have been doing for over 130 years!
1000 Brussel / Bruxelles
1000 Brussel / Bruxelles