Our Convent of the Most Holy Annunciation in Rome that originally stood near St Mary Major (on the Esquiline hill) was founded on 27th April 1676 by the Venerable Princess Donna Camilla Orsini Borghese, “A shining example of holiness in conjugal and monastic life”. Following a life lived in the world as a sovereign of authentic Christian charity, in humility and poverty she embraced a cloistered life.
The spirit of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation, that is, the commitment to perfectly imitate the Virgin Mary was, for her, that precious pearl of the gospels for which “She sold everything she owned and bought it” (Mt 13:46).
On entering the Convent she had founded she perfectly incarnated the spirit of the Order and became mother, teacher, and model of spirituality.
“Her spirituality, which is valid for all times, is even more so today because society has been desecrated and so needs to be reanimated and consecrated to the love of Christ”.
She died on 14th March 1685 and on 10th September 1746 her beatification case was lodged.
In the chronicles of the “Celesti di Roma” reference is made to n° 25 miraculous graces, granted by God at the intercession of the Venerable Princess Donna Camilla Orsini Borghese, or Mother Maria Vittoria Orsini Borghese in religion, between the years 1840 and 1847.
Her remains lie in the church in our Convent.
The convent she founded on the Esquiline hill, in what is now Via Paolina, was closed in September 1872. Her spiritual daughters, called “Celesti” went to a rented house at N° 231 Via della Lungara, and then in June 1880 they moved to Via S. Agata dei Goti, in December 1905 to n° 56 Via Porta Latina and, finally, on 1st February 1939 to the current convent at n° 771 Via Portuense – 00148 Roma.
The community of the “Blue” nuns of Rome was honoured by Popes Pius VII, Gregory XVI, and Pius IX with visits, blessings, and favours. On 1st December 1985 they had the honour and joy of a visit by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. The echo of his words as Father and Pastor still sounds in our contemplative heart: “I wish you to be the apostles of the Annunciation and incarnation here. Hidden, but fruitful. And with these wishes, I bless you”.