Saturday, 21 August 2010

Vistation Order Celebrates 400th Anniversary this Saturday

The Order of the Vistation Monastery in Waldron Green, East Sussex is, with the rest of the order of Vistation Nums, celebrating 400 years since their foundation in Annecy, France in 1610 by St Francis de Sales and St Jane de Chantal.

They are the only Order of nuns to have ever been under the personal protection of a Pope and are in fact the resident contemplative community in the Vatican. Amongst other interesting facts they provided refuge to two exiled Queens of England, one of whom actually founded one of their Monasteries.

Although they are a contemplative order, not working in the world, they work hard within the Monastery to provide for their own needs and also pray daily for the needs of the world and the Church. They invite people to send in prayer requests and also welcome women for retreats.

They were the first contemplative order of nuns to be allowed into this country after the Reformation. They brought  with them to this country the devotion to the Sacred Heart. In 1816 they opened in this country the first chapel for devotion to the Sacred Heart. They were the first to receive permission from the Pope to have Mass of the Sacred Heart on the first Friday of every month.

In the light of the forthcoming Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman it is reflective of their influence on the Church in this country that only did one of their members regularly corresponded with Cardinal Newman but that an expression of their Founder: Cor ad Cor Loquitur (Heart speaks unto Heart), was adopted by Cardinal Newman as his own motto.

Bishop Kieran Conry will join them for their celebrations this Saturday and will celebrate Mass with them. And tomorrow Sunday August 22 , the Mother Superior of the Monastery, Sister Jane Margaret, will be  interviewed on the Sunday Breakfast Radio Programme on BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey. The interview will be broadcast live at 7.20am on Sunday morning.

Many congratultions to all the community

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