Below: A clearer view of the sacred incorrupt relics.
During the 1990s our Congregation made a home in the former monastery of the Celestial Annunciades in Joinville, France (below). The holy order, founded by Blessed Maria Vittoria de Fornari Strata, seemed to have more or less dwindled and we were privileged to glean, from local memories and some remaining artefacts, a little of the history of the beautiful order which had once found a home within the same walls.
Each day we devote a few moments to preparing the image of the saint for the next day for our top right sidebar. Having found that 15 December is the anniversary of Blessed Maria Vittoria’s death, and making the association with our former home, we went searching for a suitable image. What a surprise to find that the monastery where her relics repose is alive and well and very much inclined towards the traditional religious life. The photographs are simply beautiful so we decided to share them with our readers.
by the newly ordained Rev. Fr Francesco Ramella .
The Celestial Annunciades are religious order for women founded by Bl. Maria Vittoria Fornari (1562 - 1617) at Genoa. The death of her husband, Angelo Strata, left her the care of six children, and it was only after they had entered the religious life that she was free to carry out her life work, for which she had been preparing by retirement and the practice of austere virtue. Her lack of temporal means for some time caused her director and the Archbishop of Genoa to withhold their consent, which, however, was finally obtained (1602), and a convent was erected at the expense of one of her companions. Pope Clement VIII approved them in 1604, placing the Order under the Rule of St Augustine. In the same year ten members were received, each adding the name Maria Annunziata to her baptismal or religious name, and they made their solemn vows on 7 September, 1605. The Order spread through France, Germany, and Denmark.
Below: The altar of Our Lady of Protection, a devotion particular to the order.