A new community of strict observance in the Benedictine tradition was born on July 2nd 2008 in Villatalla, a small Italian village located in Liguria on the heights of Imperia, very near to Ventimiglia and the French border (see map).
This community was founded by two monks originally from the abbey of Le Barroux (France), at the request made to them by His Excellency Mario Oliveri, bishop of Albenga-Imperia. Here you will find information on this monastic project and some of the events which marked their recent installation.
This information is above all an appeal to the charity of your prayer and, for those who can, a request for material help. Heartfelt thanks.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Consecration to Mary Immaculate

Particularly thankful towards the Most Holy Virgin Mary, whose obvious signs of particular protection they have had for two years, Fr. Jehan and Brother Toussaint are in Lourdes today, not only to observe the jubilee of the apparition and gain a plenary indulgence, but also to renew their Marian consecration and entrust to Mary’s Immaculate Heart the monastic work begun in Villatalla.

They want to follow the example of the Franciscans of the Immaculate (founded on August 2nd, 1970 by two Conventual Franciscan friars, Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli and Fr. Gabriele Pelettieri), whose founding charism adds to the three vows of religion a particular consecration to the Immaculate, according to the Marian spirituality of St. Maximilian Kolbe.
The most recent general chapter of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, which took place on Pentecost, decided to make provision, as an order, for the traditional Latin rite of Mass. All their priests (currently about 100) must from now on be familiar with it.
This decision — of great importance for their religious family and for the Church — together with the climate of humility which is felt among them, seems explainable only as a particular favor from blessed Mary.
Fr. Jehan, who spent more than six months in Rome in one of their houses, saw in this spiritual miracle obtained through Mary's mediation, a sign from Providence for the path he too should follow.

On March 10th, 2008, after the hour of Sext, Fr. Manelli gave Fr. Jehan a Miraculous Medal which he now wears visibly over his heart, as his brother Franciscans do. "Father Jehan taught us the Tridentine Mass," the Franciscan founder was able to say, "and we for our part give him the Miraculous Medal." And Fr. Jehan concluded, "It is unquestionably Mary who raised up the family of the Franciscans of the Immaculate; if it is the will of God that a new Benedictine family be born, they will be the Benedictines of the Immaculate." The reaction of the Franciscans was thunderous applause.

From now on, Franciscans and Benedictines are joined like two branches of a family under the mantle of the Immaculate in fidelity to their respective religious rules and to the liturgical tradition of Holy Church, notably to the ancient ritual of Mass from which "countless saints copiously fed their piety towards God".