The word “oblate” comes from “oblatum”, the participle of “offerre”, which means the one who donate himself.

In the Middle Ages the oblate offered himself to God in the life of the cloister or, in some cases being still a child, was offered to the monastery from his parents.

The 23rd of July 1904, with pontifical order, the Statutes on the oblates’ life were approved with official  institution.

Oblates is a vocational way of living that answers to a special call of the Grace of the Lord. “Everybody in the Curch, being santified by the gift of the Easter Spirit, is called to santity (cf. Lumen Gentium 39), which is communion with God partecipating to trinitary life” (St. III, 11).

“In this common vocation the oblate is called to give his answer living the monastic charisma and to prefer nothing to the love of Christ (RB 4; 72)”.

“The Oblation is a liturgical and spiritual act accepted by the Church (CIC Cann. 303 e 677) that allows the oblate, after a period of spiritual training, to donate himself to God, binding to a specific cistercian community. The oblate is involved in a specific form of life which should be a progressive conformation to Christ, the only aim of his donation and of the cistercian spirituality (cfr. RB 21; 72); he will try to extend this form all around in the world, being a witness of the permanent vitality of the monastic life in the christian experience” (St. I, 3).

“The communion spirit, which characterizes the monastic family ordered by St. Benedict in the Rule, is a fundamental elemen of the Church itself (cf. Lumen Gentium, 2)” (St. III, 24).

The oblate, answering to this call, is opened to a new communitary dimension; his “quaerere Deum” will not only be individual, but will be shared with the monks and the other oblates.

“The community recognize in the oblates an extended and articulated form of its charisma, in a mutual and complementary relation, which makes everyone listen to one another, in spiritual growth (St. II, 8).

This is just the mutual and fraternal acceptance which monastic life lead to in a “docibility” of the heart and soul, deep focus of the cistercian spirituality and “perfume of Christ” living and present.

Cistercian oblate’s life is discipled by the Rule of St. Benedict, actualized by Statutes, which are specific for the oblates living in monastery (regular oblates) or outside (seculare oblates).

National Statutes of the Oblates provide consacrated oblation through the pronouncing of the vows, in a special private rite.

Humility, obedience, silence, listening, liturgic prayer, semplicity, poverty, manual work and real mutual charity are some indications that St. Bernard and other cistercian saints have left to follow on the path through our familiy life.


Monastero S. Maria di Chiaravalle

Via Sant’Arialdo, 102 - 20139 Milano

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The church and the cloister are visitable from Tuesday to Saturnday from 9am to 12am and (also on Sunday) from 3pm to 5pm.

For informations about tours for groups see the page on site.

The transept and the cloister stay closed on Monday.

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