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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Victoria Who Overcame the World

Reverend Mother Maria Angela Borsa, Prioress of the Venerable Monastery of the Most Holy Annunciation and Incarnation in Genoa, Italy, before the relics of the Holy Foundress, Bl. Maria Vittoria (behind the Infant Jesus).
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.

The Altar of Blessed Maria Vittoria during the traditional First Holy Mass offered there in 2009
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.

Above: A novice preparing embroidery for the support of the monastery.
Below: The altar of Our Lady of Protection, a devotion particular to the order.


The title of our post, Victoria Who Overcame the World, is a play on the words of Holy Scripture, often seen in pictures of the Blessed: "For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith." [1 John 5,4] It is uplifting to see her spiritual daughters continuing to overcome the spirit of the world, the flesh and the devil.

4 comments:

Tom Esteban said...

Great pictures, thank you Father!

Anne B said...

May God bless the sisters and grant them many good Vocations.

Jack said...

\\The altar of Our Lady of Protection, a devotion particular to the order. \\

Hardly.

The Protection of the Theotokos is a feast observed by most Churches of the Byzantine Tradition, Catholic and Orthodox on 1 October, though the Church of Greece transferred it to 28 October.

Anonymous said...

Our Lady of Protection is the particular image enthroned upon the particular altar shown. That image is particular to the Celestial Annuciades and has nothing to do with the Pokrov or Protection or Protecting Belt of the Mother of God. Different devotion, same Heavenly Mother.
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