Hope you like the mitre - it used to belong to Giuseppe Cardinal Siri!
It's been an amazing past few days. We just spend five days in Liguria, on the Italian Riviera. We made the trip from Rome to witness a very, very special and a very, very rare ceremony - the Ritus Professionis Votorum Solemnium (the consecration of new sisters) according to the old Rituale Romano - Seraphicum.
Nothing like this had been seen around here for decades. People had even forgotten that anything like this existed now or even once upon a time. None of us in our lives had ever seen anything like it.
Just imagine: seven young women made final vows as cloistered Franciscan sisters in Italy according to the usus antiquior of the Roman rite. They were described as being seven roses. As the gloved bishop placed a crown of thorns atop the veiled head of each, there wasn't a dry eye in the church.
The sisters are the Sorores Franciscanae Immaculatae Virginis. They're a new order. Their founder, now venerable in age, was one of twenty-two children and his parents were followers of Padre Pio. The cloister of the sisters is located in in the town of Castello, in Italy.
The ceremony took place in the basilica of the resort town of Imperia, overlooking the Ligurian Sea. The local ordinary sang the Mass while the cloistered sisters made up the choir.
History in the making, every day of the year.
See their site here: http://www.immacolata.com/
If they are the same "Sorelle Francescane dell'Immacolata" that I know of, they are not cloistered nuns, but members of the active/contemplative female branch of the movement generally known as the Franciscans of the Immaculate (friars, active/contemplative sisters, and cloistered nuns who are called the Clarisse dell'Immacolata", or "Poor Clares of the Immaculate Virgin"
The Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate both date from the very late 1960's, early 1970's.
But the "Clarisse dell'Immacolata", were only founded in 1993. They have 4 cloistered monasteries...all in Italy.
THeir Poor Clare habit is different from the traditional Poor Clare habit, which according to the Poor Clare tradition is a floor length tunic of a rough material, wide sleeves, Franciscan knotted cord, white wimple and black veil. The colors of this habit usually are-depending on the monastery- dark brown, gray (light or dark), tan, light brown or beige or black (TOR Poor Clares and Conventual Poor Clares).
The Capuchin Poor Clares, the Colletines, and the Franciscan Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration usually wear the dark brown.
The TOR and Conventual Poor Clares wear black.
The "Original Observance" or the "Urbanist" Poor Clares can wear varying colors of brown, gray, beige, etc.
THIS NEW GROUP SHOWN HERE----if it is the same Order, wear gray Poor Clare habits, with sky blue veils..a marked difference from the standard habit.
There also is a new group in France of Poor Clares called the Clarisse de L'Adoration de la Precieux Sangue (Poor Clares of the Precious Blood) which wear the traditional Poor Clare habit but in Burgundy-red, with the white wimple and black veil. They have 2 houses, and plan 1 in Italy.
Unfortunatly, there are also many (again,unfortunatly) Poor Clare monasteries which have drastically modified/simplified, or outright discarded the holy habit of the Order.
Many of these are in France, Belgium, and the USA. Needless to say, where they are found, the habitless liberal Poor Clares are all very elderly, in mostly empty houses.
God bless these new sisters...and I hope the rite shown in the photos marks not a 1x event, but a gradual return.
Thanks for all these magnificent photographs showing the consecration of the Sisters. Superb.
The REALLY confusing part, Anon, is that besides the Poor Clares of the Immaculate, the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate ALSO have contemplative houses--one of which is at Citta' di Castello. Since it says their cloister is at Castello, these are presumably the latter: entered as active missionary Sorelle Fran. dell'Imm. and are still Sorelle FI but now observe enclosure. As opposed to, as you mention, the Clarisse who have a VOW of enclosure.
About the habit: although the pictures are of FSI, not Clarisse, the Clarisse have a very similar habit: grey tunic, skyblue veil, wimple, miraculous medal, sandals, and I guess choir mantles of some kind.
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