11th of July 2016: Solemnity of Saint Benedict


Arrival of Mgr Oliveri with the parish priest and Father Prior at his side

The 11th of July just past, on the feast of St Benedict, Mgr Mario OLIVERI came to celebrate a pontifical Mass in the presence of some 15 priest friends of the diocese together with our neighbours in Villatalla and numerous of the faithful.

Padre Stefano Manelli , le fondateur des Franciscains de l'Immaculée, nous fait l'honneur et la joie de sa présence.

Father Stefano Manelli, founder of the Franciscans of the Immaculate gives us the honour and joy of his presence

His Grace gave an excellent homily on the patriarch of monastics, patron of Europe “filled with the spirit of all the just” and a man of prayer, he who in his Rule names it (prayer) “the Work of God to which nothing must be preferred”.

The proper preface from which Mgr drew the introduction of his preaching  describes admirably the inner grace which adorned the soul of St Benedict. Here is its central part:

“Holy Lord, almighty Father, eternal God, you have established as head and master of an innumerable number of sons of St Benedict your confessor in the rewarding of a celestial wisdom. You have filled him with the spirit of all the just, and after having been pleased with him, you have illuminated him in the radiance of your light, such that in this light of an interior vision his soul was freed from any obstacle and could understand how the things down here are constrained. For all that we give you thanks through Jesus Christ Our Lord”.


Mgr Oliveri, surrounded Father Stefano Manelli, the priest of Villatalla, and many priests of the diocese.


“It is good and sweet it is for brothers to dwell together!” Ps. 132

After Holy Mass came the customary photo and the human festivities which all go together, the joy of meeting up and the gift of friendship around a buffet prepared by our secular oblate, brother Ange-Joseph, a man reserved, generous and a fine cook.


Before departure: goodbye dear lord, may the Lord bless you and reward you for always being faithful pastor to your currency in the faith transmitted and communicated to the souls peace “Fides et Pax”.

We know that for a year and a half Mgr Oliveri no longer has had juridical power in the diocese in which he works, despite still having the titular seat. We wished this day to be a tribute of affection and filial gratitude for all the good which he has poured out during twenty six years of episcopal ministry. He has shown a great supernatural serenity which typifies his episcopal motto “Fides et Pax” (Faith and Peace). It is  a steadfast faith in which dwells the secret of peace and goodness which all those who draw near to it feel deeply.

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15th of August at Villatalla


Our Lady of Light (Henri Charlier)

Every year on the 15th of August, feast of the Assumption of the most Blessed Virgin Mary and Marian peak of the liturgical year, the Benedictine of the Immaculate monks solemnly renew their consecration to Mary.

The Prologue of our Constitutions, approved by the Holy See on 25th of March last, specifies that the Benedictines of Villatalla, wishing to connect with the irreplaceable monastic and liturgical heritage received from their Fathers, a complete consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “because the virtues which must constitute the essence of our society”, (said Fr. Muard), “are the virtues par excellence of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and that of his Holy Mother”. In the direct line of this heritage, on 22nd of August 1986, Dom Gérard solemnly and irrevocably renewed the consecration of the community and all its members to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, considered as the perfect ideal to imitate. In order to make this Marian consecration more manifest and effective, through which they become the “absolute property” of Mary, the monks of Villatalla wish to adopt the name of “Benedictines of the Immaculate” and see to it that their prayer life, their reading and their manual labour be imbued with Her spirit, to the point where She alone lives again in them. That is why every day in private the Benedictine monks of the Immaculate renew their consecration and every 15th of August, the Fr. Prior solemnly reads the consecration again, with the community kneeling at the feet of the Virgin of the miraculous medal.

Here is this text, composed by Dom Gérard and carefully revised due to special circumstances; it connects to a spiritual elevation of thought, a literary expression of unequalled beauty:

“O Mary, our sovereign and tender mother, whose most tender heart, wounded by love, burns with a most ardent charity for each one of us, cast your gaze on your children gathered together on this day by a sentiment of profound gratitude for so many graces received, as well as by their unbreakable confidence in the sweet and powerful protection which they dare to expect from you in their weakness, surrounded by great perils.

 ”Look upon our young community of brethren whose filial confidence lays claim to your help; see what great perils we are threatened with by the state of the world and of Holy Church, and never allow our interior life, supernatural spirit, orthodox faith, love of doctrine, taste for solitude, humility of heart and fraternal charity to weaken.  Bring it about that our community and those which it shall found may always be faithful to the spirit of our Father Muard*, your ardent servant, who set forth to all the members of his religious family “the virtues of the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary” as an immense reservoir of grace and love from which we can draw strength to embrace “a life humble, poor and mortified” until the end of our days.


Dom Gérard … 48 years ! “The monk is a child who is surprised by nothing and who marvels at all”

“Never allow our inexperience to frighten us or make us pull back.  Give us a heart both gentle and strong, so that no success can make us proud, no setback break our spirit.  Bring it about that, being nothing through ourselves, we can find our entire glory in our dependence on you, similar to the children your Son set forth as the example for his disciples: children who see in every event the hand of their heavenly Father, who are shocked by nothing and who marvel at everything.

“We take as our own, and for all time, the desire of our founders who regarded your Immaculate Heart to be our model “for it is the finished archetype of two characteristics of the Work: interior life and immolation”.

“Therefore we beseech you to keep us free of the evil of pride, the thirst for power, the attraction to the pleasures and grandeur of this world.

“May the demon never sow among us the weeds of discord, or of jealousy, but may there reign always in the ranks of our monastic family a supernatural peace, the spirit of sacrifice, humility of heart and pardon for offenses.

“Bring it about, O sweet Virgin Mary, that the poor are always welcomed among us with tenderness as the envoys of God, but may the spirit of the world, and the assaults of schism and heresy be smashed against our walls and unable ever to penetrate among us.


Renewal of consecration before the Virgin of the miraculous medal

“To this end we ask of you the grace to always keep firm without fail behind the twofold rampart of the holy Rule and the sacred Liturgy, the best guarantees of the purest Catholic faith and the highest sanctity.

“O most sweet and strong Virgin Mary, our most loving mother, persuaded of our incapacity to accomplish a plan so far beyond our strength, we consecrate to you today, solemnly and irrevocably to your Immaculate Heart: our community, our works and our foundations, our families, our oblates, friends and benefactors; to you we give everything.  Everything is yours, all is for you in our thoughts, affections, desires and projects.

“Bound by such a solemn pact, O Mary, we wish to remain immersed in your most pure Heart, which is an ocean of interior life and charity, confident of receiving from you all necessary lights and graces in order to love you and make you loved, so that the life of your Son may be manifested in us for the glory of the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost.

 O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee. (3 times)

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Scout Camp in Villatalla

Photo de groupe

The group of St. Benedict of the parish of St. Symphorien Versailles with their chaplain

During the month of July some road groups of the Unitarian Scouts of France (SUF) came to camp in Villatalla. The goal of scouting is, in the context of a team life, to learn to become men and Christians greatly more virtuous than the world in which they live, which is decadent, aggressive and contrary to God’s law.


Service: Volunteer teamwork

The three facets of the scouting life are adventure, service and prayer. Adventure is the changing surroundings; it is external but also internal. They undertook service with courage and enthusiasm, lending a hand in the monastery’s work: woodwork, storage, transporting materials, grass cutting, scraping the bare stone walls, jack hammer, etc … Prayer is both communal and personal, the school of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the summit towards which the activities of the scouts and of all Christians aspires, and is the source from which all virtue ensues. The camp took place in two stages: camp life and road life. We saw them at work and greatly appreciated this first stage, the second stage was a hike across roads and paths high in the mountains toward Turin. Here in Villatalla their presence was a beautiful testimony to a disciplined and joyful youthfulness, for whom God is the center and the light of their entire lives. A lady in Villatalla offered me these words: “dica loro ragazzi che sono meravigliosi”, “tell them that they are wonderful young people.”


The group of Bx Piergiorgio Frassati of Chalon-sur-Saône
At the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snows above the village.

The presence of the scouts in the scorching July heat wave brought a refreshing youthful breeze to the village, as well as righteousness and Christian joy. May God bless them and may Our Lady of the Snows, patroness of the sanctuary at whose feet they pitched their tents, keep them faithful to their scouting promise!

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Saint Benedict’s solemnity at Villatalla


Mgr Brancaleoni, general vicar of Albenga-Imperia’s diocese, at the holy altar

July 11, a day of jubilation at the monastery. Every year we celebrate on this day the solemnity of St. Benedict. The church is full for the celebration of Holy Mass according to the traditional rite celebrated by the vicar general, Monsignor Giorgio Brancaleoni, flanked by the deacon, sub-deacon and others officiating. Among the faithful are those who, of all people, are our neighbors and friends. Also this year we have present the roving members of the Scouts Unitaires of France (SUF) not counting the dozen priests of the diocese coming to share this celebration.


Souvenir picture


The festive banquet under umbrella

After the ceremony, our secular oblate Brother Angel Joseph, assisted by some pious ladies of the parish, served us a country feast in the meadow in the shadow of the church.

The Father Prior thanked all those in Heaven and on earth who contributed to the success of this beautiful day held under the auspices of Saint Benedict and recommended everyone to offer a prayer that the Lord sends us holy vocations.


Our great patriach, Saint Benecict of Nursia

On this occasion we recount the thoughts and this prayer of great news that Dom Gerard, 35 years ago, addressed to the friends of the monastery:

“1500 years ago there rose over the tragic horizon of the great invasions, the radiant figure of St. Benedict, patriarch of Western monks.

His life full of miracles threw out a challenge to a world which looked somewhat like our own in its cruelty, prey to unrest and chaos. He made present around him kindness, gentleness, and filial piety. His followers covered Europe with monasteries, teaching people the art of praying and working for God in the hope of Heaven.

That protection of our great patriarch, dear friends and benefactors, extends like a cloak of peace upon you, your families and your homes.

May he inspire in us an especially strong desire to serve God and immense trust in his providence ” Continue reading

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Monastic Oblation

Our australian Oblates.

Our australian Oblates.

Since the founding of the monastery on July 2 2008, several of our friends and faithful have shown their desire to be able to be connected with our monastic community through oblation. A very fervent group of around a dozen oblates has thus formed in Sydney Australia under Father D. Wong of the Fraternal Society of St Peter (FSSP), to whom we have given delegation for such purpose.

Our secular Oblate, Brother Angel-Joseph and its dog Pepa.

Our secular Oblate, Brother Angel-Joseph and its dog Pepa.

Of course we have Italian and French oblates who are spiritually connected to our family of Benedictines of the Immaculate. Quite close to us another oblate who comes from Central America, brother Angel Joseph, has wished to live his oblature in an even more intense manner. He lives alone in a small village house together with his dog Pepa and three canaries which amuse all those in the single street in his village. He is united to the liturgical prayer of the monks and gives a large part of his time to the service of the community as cook, garment maker and master of the hen house.
One can admire and even venerate the Benedictine monastic ideal, but what can it bring to the simple Christians already consecrated to God by their baptism and calls to sanctity? Well, the Rule of St Benedict itself teaches us: it is in effect itself a school in which one learns to serve Our Lord, scola servitii Domini. “Oblation, (wrote the very reverend Father Dom Gerard), is above all things, a spirit. It is the spirit of St Benedict. A spirit so simple, so powerfully rooted in the first ages of Christianity that it can readily spread from the trunk  of the tree to even its longest branches… The Benedictine spirit raises the monk to seek God in a persistent and concrete fashion, to organize his whole life according to God’s will, under the eye of God, for the service of God”. It is also in this same spirit that the Rule guides and sustains our oblates to organize their whole life in praise to the glory of God and for the salvation and sanctification of their soul.

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(Français) 21 mars, fête de Saint Benoît.

Don Giovanni célèbrant la messe solennelle de Saint Benoît.

Don Giovanni célèbrant la messe solennelle de Saint Benoît.

Ce vendredi 21 mars, Villatalla est en fête. Les cloches sonnent à toutes volées et les villageois s’empressent vers la petite paroisse Saint Michel pour assister à la messe solennelle, présidée par Don Giovanni Pina (jeune prêtre ordonné le mois dernier).

Don Ivo lors de sa prédication.

Don Ivo lors de sa prédication.

Don Ivo, (chanoine prévôt de la Basilique Saint-Maurice de Porto-Maurizio) rappelait dans sa prédication les chapitres principaux de la Sainte Règle qui réside en l’obéissance et l’humilité. Don Francesco (professeur au séminaire) accompagne à l’orgue qui n’avait plus sonné depuis le rappel à Dieu de notre chère doyenne Flavia. Don Marco (chanoine qui vient nous donner des cours de liturgie) est cérémoniaire.

Le RP Prieur, Don Tomaso, Don Carmelo et Fr. Gabriel.

Le RP Prieur, Don Tomaso, Don Carmelo et Fr. Gabriel.

C’est aussi le jour anniversaire de notre curé Don Tomaso. Après la messe, nous sortons en procession. Puis un apéritif soigneusement dressé attend devant l’église où nous échangeons quelques paroles avec nos hôtes. à midi, nous chantons Sexte, avant de nous rendre chez Clara (une pieuse femme de Villatalla) qui a préparé un copieux repas, assistée par d’autres fidèles du village.

A la fin du repas, nous remercions nos hôtes et nous les raccompagnons charitablement avant de retourner chanter l’office de None. Encore un grand merci à tous ces prêtres qui sont venus partager avec nous une si belle solennité.

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(Français) 27 janvier : Grande promenade chez Frère Toussaint

L'ermitage de Frère Toussaint et le Sanctuaire des saints Côme et Damien.

L’ermitage de Frère Toussaint attenant au
Sanctuaire des saints Côme et Damien.

Après les fêtes de Noël et du nouvel an, grande promenade communautaire. Nous prenons la voiture et rejoignons en une heure de temps l’ermitage de notre Frère Toussaint, situé dans l’arrière pays d’Albenga à 1000 mètres d’altitude et à 10 km du premier village. Frère Toussaint, après 21 ans de vie religieuse au Barroux et deux années passées auprès du Père Jehan à Villatalla, poursuit en effet une vie d’ermite, près du sanctuaire des  SS. Côme et Damien où Mgr Oliveri lui a permis de s’installer.  Là, en solitaire il prie de jour et de nuit pour l’Église et pour ses frères dans le siècle. Sa spiritualité est celle des  Pères du désert, dont la lecture assidue a été à l’origine de sa vocation. Il vous demande de l’aider à aménager son ermitage ainsi  qu’une petite dépendance dont il a besoin et qu’il construit lui-même.

Fr. Toussaint et la communauté.

Une halte pour admirer la beauté du paysage

Prières au sanctuaire, grande ballade et piquenique  sur les crêtes déboisées des contreforts d’Albenga où de partout la vue est splendide, conversations spirituelles et évocation de souvenirs monastiques, parfois cocasses, tout cela fut l’occasion d’un cœur à cœur fraternel, joyeux et détendant. Le soir tombant, nous nous sommes quittés à regret et sur le retour, au chant des Vêpres avec récitation du chapelet en voiture, nous avons rejoint le village et notre monastère de Villatalla. Encore merci à Frère Toussaint pour ce grand moment de détente, de joie et de charité toute fraternelle.

Pour subvenir à ses besoins, Frère Toussaint élève des chiens “bergers d’Asie Centrale”. Il en possède environ une dizaine.  Voici quelques photos et informations les concernant: www.chiens.b67.me
Pour le contacter :
Fra’ Toussaint Menut
Località Colle San Cosimo
I-18020 Borghetto d’Arroscia (IM)
Emplacement géographique :
Tél. fixe français : 09 70 44 81 15 (reçu sur Skype, prix d’un appel normal)
Tél. mobile italien : +39 366 372 16 28
Email : amis@b67.me
Pseudo skype : frere.toussaintPour faire un don par carte bancaire :
Pour effectuer un virement bancaire :
Pour les chèques, libeller à : « Association Sacra Doctrina ».
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014!


“Christmas is coming. Great joy in the sky, some peace on earth in spite of the trial of exile, that the hardness of men makes more bitter!”

Dom Gerard’s words, he addressed on december 8th 1990 to the Friends of the Monastery, are still more topical than ever in this so dark an decadent period of our history, marked by the spectacular rise of evil: after divorce and abortion, here is now the gay marriage and, soon children adoption within it, and then today, the disappearance of homelands, these lands of the Fathers, rooted in Christian civilization, left to an occult globalist power, destroyer of families, of nations and of people: so many reasons to despair, you will tell me!

And yet at the approach of Christmas the Church through her texts and songs comes to raise our burdened hearts: “Tomorrow, she says, the iniquity of the earth will be cleared and the Savior of the world shall reign over us” and, during the holy night: “Heaven has visited the earth, a Savior was born to us!”

Dear Friends and Benefactors, the community of the Benedictine monks of the Immaculate wish you a holy Christmas and a new year of grace in the hope of salvation of our souls, our families and our homelands.

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Come to the aid of the monks of Villatalla!

La maison Saint-Jean à restaurer depuis le toit jusqu'à la bergerie du rez de chaussé aménagée provisoirement en poulailler.

The house Saint-Jean, to be restored from the roof to the sheepfold
in the ground floor, fitted temporarily as a henhouse.

Last year, we had already asked for your help to purchase a home required for the development of our community. The previous owner had charitably agreed to be paid in three annual installments. Thanks to your donations we were able to pay the first installment of 30,000 euros. At the end of the month of December we will have to pay the second installment.
And unfortunately, it’s raining in this house: we have to repair the roof! The ground floor, a former sheepfold, all vaulted, must be arranged and turned into our future chapter room. We have temporarily put our chickens there! Thus on the outskirts of the village, we are preparing a henhouse undergoing restoration, located on a terrace. However the wall supporting it 15 meters long an four meters high, collapsed so it is necessary to rebuild it and we also need you for that.
Le poulailler qui deviendra… la salle capitulaire

The henhouse wich will
become… the chapter house.

Le mur du futur poulailler, à relever en pierre sèches

The wall of the future henhouse, to be raised dry stone.

Dear Friends who are reading us, be our Providence! Almsgiving is also a way to please God and deserve His grace. Thank you for allowing us to continue and develop the Work of prayer and sanctification inaugurated and transmitted by our founders, Father Muard Rd, Dom Romain Banquet and Dom Gerard. We know that times are tough and the state multiplies unfairly taxes. That those who can afford it help us  and the poor offer us more by their prayer. Thank you with all my heart to you all!
God Bless you in your families and in your work! And the Immaculate Virgin, by her motherly and all-powerful intercession, gives you the most precious treasure, the love of God and our neighbor!
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Our farm work: the chicken coop, the olive grove and kitchen garden.

Frère Benoît : heureux comme un coq en pâte !

Under the vigilant eye of Brother Benoît, cock and hens in relative-freedoom.

Since a few months we have acquired about twenty young hens that we temporarily place in the place in the part of “henhouse Saint-Jean” wich is still a cowshed.

Le futur poulailler et le mur écroulé, à reconstruire.

The future henhouse and the
collapsed wall to be rebuild.

Treated with kid gloves, they generously repay us with an average of fifteen eggs per day. We hope to soon move the flock in an old chicken coop located 50 meters away, on the outskirts of the village. This already partly restored henhouse, is built on a narrow terrace with a collapsed wall of about 15 meters long. It is also necessary to rebuild it. We hope in Providence to continue and complete this new habitat, where our beloved birds can lay eggs brooding and ranging freely in a well arranged space.

Frère Gabriel

Brother Gabriel

Some land of olive-trees- about forty trees – were part of the sale of the house St. Jean: wonderful boon to the monks who found in agricultural work an important source of balance and health. We’ve pruned them last spring to make them make the best possible crop. As the saying goes, this is for St. Catherine begins the harvest. On the Ligurian hills, it takes about 5-7 kg of olives to produce 1 liter of oil, and this year, each tree produces about 15 kg of fruit. So we can expect to get 80 liters: it would be a nice first.


“The labour is an excellent preparation to the inner life.
The more you’ll devote yourself to the inner life,
the more you’ll get the intelligence
of the labour’s law.” Dom Romain

The village people are happy to see us return to the olive trees cultivation which is unfortunately increasingly abandoned in favor of tourism. All farmers in the region know that it is the Lérins monks that introduced the olive cultivation in Liguria. It is a point of history that makes us nice and worthy in their eyes.

We also have a vegetable garden of about 300 m2 wich has provided us this year a lot of vegetables: beans, onions, garlic, shallots, squashes and zucchini, green beans and white beans, “coeur de boeuf” tomato in abundance, cucumbers, headed broccoli, lettuces, radishes, eggplants, green and red peppers, leeks, etc..

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