In founding the Annunciade – a Marian Order “consecrated to please God,” Saint Joan of France gave peace ample room in her Rule. She also urged contemporary laity, her relatives, to seek peace as the surest way by pleasing God. After Joan’s death, Fr. Gabriel Maria, OFM, her spiritual director, accepted her work, and in 1517 he obtained the Church’s approval for the confraternity called the Order of Peace (Ordre de la Paix) known today as the Confraternity of the Annunciade. The Way of Peace (in French: Fraternité Annonciade. Chemin de Paix). This confraternity united with the Annunciade, offered and continues to offer Christians the charism of peace. It flourished before the Great French Revolution, it is again flourishing after the canonization of the Foundress in 1950.
The singular obligation is: to strive for fraternal love unto peace, according to Christ’s words: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have love you” (Jn 13:34).
There are three means of achieving this goal:
— vigilance of heart — to reject all rancor or malevolence;
— vigilance of words — to avoid all slander;
— action — to forgive, reconcile, unite.
From where is necessary strength drawn? In Jesus, in His Gospel, His Passion, and His Eucharist, reciting the Chaplet of the Ten Evangelical Virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Order of Peace may be joined through affiliation to one of the convents of the Annunciade. In mutual prayers, personal encounters, exchange of letters to support the commitment of peace in the spirit of St. Joan.
Pope John Paul II was able to sum up in just a few words the essence of St. Joan’s charism: he said, “The spirituality of Mary is a spirituality of total intimacy with Jesus.”
Isn’t this something that modern youth, concerned with openness, fraternity and beauty, can understand and live out in the example of Mary as she pleased God?