Fr. Cyprianus Verbeek O.Carm. was born as Eduardus Maria Verbeek. The name of Cyprianus was got when he joined the Carmelite Order. The name of Cyprianus Verbeek reminds us to the Prior Provincial of the Dutch Province who decided to start the mission in Java. They both indeed have a familial connection. Fr. Dr. Cyprianus Verbeek who was the Prior Provincial of the Dutch Province was a younger brother of the grandfather of Fr. Cyprianus Verbeek, the Indonesian Carmelite living in the Carmelite Novitiate in Batu. The young Eduardus Maria Verbeek visited the elder Fr. Cyprianus Verbeek to seek his advice before joining the Carmelite Order.
Fr. Cyprianus Verbeek was born in Amsterdam on October 12, 1928. He was the fourth son in a large Catholic family (10 children). He was baptized on October 13, 1928. After completing his primary school (1941), he joined the minor seminary belonged to the Missionaries Fathers of Africa (the White Fathers). He chose the seminary because his uncle was one of the White Fathers who worked in Central Africa. After completing his minor seminary he entered the Carmelite novitiate in Boxmeer. He was attracted to the contemplative monastic life of the Carmelite Order after reading the biography of Blessed Titus Brandsma, published in 1947.
On September 9, 1948 he received the Carmelite habit together with his eight friends to begin the novitiate. At that time he was the youngest novice. One friend then left the novitiate and on September 10, 1949 he and seven other novices had their first temporary vows in Boxmeer, the Netherlands. He took ‘Cyprianus’ as his religious name. A few days later they all set off by train to the formation house in Merkelbeek, the Netherland to study philosophy for three years and theology for four years.
During his first year in Merkelbeek, there was an offer from the Prior Provincial of the Dutch Province, Fr. Augustine Nolte O.Carm. who had just come back from his visitation to the Carmelite mission in East Java. In East Java, he bought the convent of the Brothers of St. Aloysius in Batu, Indonesia and made it into a Carmelite formation house. Because of the small number of seminarians in Batu (there were only six native Indonesian students) Fr. Augustine Nolte offered the Dutch brothers in Merkelbeek to have the initial formation in Batu, Indonesia. He saw it as a good way to prepare the missionaries for Indonesia because they could learn the language, culture and local customs. The prefect in Batu was Fr. Redemptus Mulder, O.Carm., Many Dutch seminarians were interested and enrolled, but only three were selected as the first group. They are Cyprianus Verbeek, Henk Demmer dan Antonius Lohuis (both of them were the senior students of Fr. Verbeek). They went to Indonesia by ship. They departed on April 12, 1951 and arrived in Batu May 5, 1951.
They continued their formation in Batu and on September 10, 1952 they had their solemn proffesion at the chapel of the Carmelite convent of Regina Apostolorum in Batu. Then, on December 19, 1954 Fr. Cyprianus Verbeek with four Carmelites were ordained to become priests in Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel Church, the Cathedral of Malang, by Mgr. A. E.J. Albers, O.Carm.
After the ordination. Fr. Cyprianus Verbeek was assigned as the fromator. He taught philosophy, both at the major seminary in Batu and in the minor seminary in Lawang. In the 1960s, he became the rector of the seminary of Lawang for three years. At the end of 1972 he was asked again to become the rector of the minor seminary while it was moved from Lawang to Jalan Talang 3 Malang. At the beginning of 1973 until 1976 he moved to the major seminary in Batu and became one of the formators there.
Realizing that his vocation was to become a hermit, he asked the prior provincial to live as a hermit. He joined Fr. Yohanes Indrakusuma to start the hermitage in Ngroto (1977-1978). After living there for one year he was asked to move back to the seminary in Batu to teach philosophy. During that time he started to build his hermitage at the back yard of the seminary. He continued teaching philosophy until it became Institute of Philosophy and Theology (IFT), which is now known as the School of Philosophy and Theology (STFT) Widya Sasana Malang.
From 1970 to 1982 Fr. Cyprianus Verbeek O.Carm. served the province by becoming the provincial councilor, either as the Definitor (now called as councilor) or provincial assistant. In 1982 he asked permission to move to a more suitable place to live as a hermit. He felt Batu was no longer a good place to be imprisoned because many people came and asked him to be a spiritual director or to give recollections, retreats, conferences, and so on. He moved to Mageria, Flores and stayed there until 1987. In 1987, he was asked by the Prior General to start an international hermitage. He involved in the preparation of the establishment of the international hermitage in the USA and then in Villefranche de Rouerge, France. The establishment of those international hermitages failed because no one wanted to come and join the Carmelite hermitages. In 1997 he was asked to assist Fr. Heribertus Purwanto, O.Carm. the prior provincial of the Indonesian province of 1997 to 2000. During that time he lived in the Carmelite monastery of Blessed Titus Brandsma, Malang, as formators.
In 2001, he staretd the Carmelite hermitage in Sedaeng, near Mount Bromo. Unfortunately, the local government of Pasuruan did not support it. He was asked to leave the area and back to Malang. He, then, became the formator at the Johanes a Sancto Samsone Carmelite formation house in Malang. Finishing his task as the formator, he returned to his hermitage in the back yard of the novitiate house in Batu. He lives there until the present time.