A congregation founded in Carignano (Turin) in 1816. Compelled to disband towards 1820, it was reconstituted at Pinerolo (Turin) in 1826. It was Abbé G. B. Reynaudi who initially gathered a few priests at Carignano in 1816. On the advice of the theologian, Luigi Guala, he asked Lanteri to take charge of the group. The institute had set as its goal the spiritual exercises of the clergy, parish missions according to the method of Saint Ignatius, formation of the clergy, absolute fidelity to the directives of the Holy See, etc.
The Oblates of the Virgin Mary obtained diocesan approval on November 13, 1816. Bishop Colombano Chiaverotti, archbishop of Turin from 1818 to 1840, a man with rigorist tendencies, came into conflict with the missionaries who were following the moral theology of Saint Alphonse Liguori. The archbishop also opposed their approval by the Holy See and, as a result, Lanteri disbanded the institute.
In November of 1825, Father de Mazenod met him in Turin and the issue at stake was a melding of the two missionary groups. But the few priests who were still associated with Lanteri refused to accept the union (see article: Lanteri). Bishop Pietro Rey, the bishop of Pinerolo, accepted into his diocese the institute that was reconstituted in 1826 and obtained pontifical approval on September 1 of that same year.
The Congregation initially developed rather rapidly, establishing a few houses of mission preachers, taking over the direction of the shrine of la Consolata in Turin and the missions in Burma. However, the perfidious laws of Piedmont in 1854 and persecutions from the part of the Burmese government effectively put a stop to this development. These Oblates never numbered more than two hundred members in Italy and in a few countries in Europe and in South America.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.
CALLIARI, P., “Oblati di Maria Vergine” in Dizionario degli Istituti di Perfezione, Rome, vol. VI, 1973, col. 634-637.