In 1909 the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem purchased a plot of land in Bethany and erected two buildings for the needs of pilgrims. During World War I, Turkish soldiers occupied the premises and, not only left everything in disorder, but took down doors and window frames. For lack of funds after the Russian Revolution, the buildings stood neglected.
In 1932, two British women - Barbara-Stella Robinson and Alix Sprot were traveling to India, and on the way made a stop in Jerusalem. Here they became acquainted with Orthodoxy, converted, and decided to remain in the Holy Land. Archbishop Anastassy tonsures them nuns and gave them the names of Mary and Martha, respectively.
With the blessings of the Synod of Bishops, sisters Mary and Martha organized a community in Bethany, dedicated to the Resurrection of the Lord, and brought the buildings in order. Soon after sister Mary was put in charge and made abbess.