Early History of Our Order

(Excerpted from Manual of the Pious Union of Secular Adorers by the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, San Francisco, CA)

When great calamities afflict the world, God provides great assistance.

The nineteenth century was dawning; the iron hand of Napoleon was shaking Europe and attacking the Seat of Peter itself. But... Providence was already preparing an assistant to her Church in the person of a humble Franciscan nun from Ischia di Castro (Italy), Sister Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation.

Less out of personal whim than out of divine inspiration, the first group of Eucharistic Apostles met in Rome at the Monastery of the Four Fountains in the year 1807. This was the birth of an order totally and exclusively dedicated to the adoration of the Holy Host, to offering it incessant thanksgiving and praise, and in this way, to being a help for the Church, a help certainly unseen and hidden, but no less effective. With holy audacity, she desired that her order become a root that submerges itself in order to sustain the tree, and not green foliage that smiles at the Spring sun.

In fact, the same day that the French entered Rome, committing abuses and excesses, the Cardinal Vicar provisionally approved the Rules of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. A throne for daily exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament was immediately built in the Chapel of Santa Ana del Quirinal, annexed to the Monastery.

The city began to breathe in a new, and most of all, Eucharistic atmosphere, and the faithful came at all hours attracted by the magnet of the Immaculate Host.

After great vicissitudes and trials – like an act of God –the order emerged pure and strong, inspiring His Holiness Pius VII to approve and confirm the Rules with apostolic authority in the Papal Bull of July 22, 1818, calling it "the chosen wine of the Savior." The Rules have been successively confirmed by His Holiness Leon XII, by Gregory XVI, and by Leon XIII, the latter of whom ends his apostolic letters saying: "With our apostolic authority, in accordance with the current canon law, we recognize, confirm, and approve forever the Constitutions of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament."

In reparation for the injuries that the most loving Jesus receives in the "Sacrament of Love," the servant of God, Sister Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation, Foundress of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, decided to found a "Pious Union" for the faithful in which they too, with their offerings and adorations, might make amends for the offenses that Jesus receives from so many ungrateful Christians. (If you are interested in joining the Pious Union of Secular Adorers please see the page under "Adoration" with that title.)

The idea of this servant of God was well received, and many people of both sexes requested applications to be admitted in order to obtain all the indulgences that the holy pontiffs had conceded to members of the Pious Union.

Not much later, on November 29, 1824, the Mother Foundress passed away, but her work grew, extending to diverse parts of the world, her monasteries becoming beacons of calm in a tempestuous sea.

The order currently includes 74 monasteries established in Europe, Africa, South America, the United States, and Mexico.

On March 6th, 1985, John Paul II approved our constitutions anew.