Monastery of the Annonciation at Prailles


bénédictines prailles


The History of our Monastery

Our community was founded in Poitiers on October 25th 1617. It was the first monastery of The Benedictine Congregation of Our Lady of Calvary which evolved from a re-formation of the Fontevrault Order by Madame d’Orléans, a Feuillantine nun, assisted by Father Joseph du Tremblay, a Capucine monk.
In 1962, the community left its small, noisy base in town and settled in Saint-Julien-l’Ars, between Poitiers and Chauvigny. In 1996, after a brainstorming session within the congregation, the community moved into another part of the diocese, the Mellois region, strongly scarred by the religious wars. In 1999, we moved into a small Huguenot country house named Pié-Foulard which was well suited to a discrete, monastic implantation which would respect the memory of this area and its history. In 2002, five sisters from the Kerbénéat community in Britany joined us.

The monastery today

Our community of about twelve sisters lives its mission of prayer (Lauds at 6.45, Eucharist 8.45/9.30 on Sundays and Feast days, Midday Office 12.15, Vespers 5.45 pm/5 pm on Sundays and Feast days, Compline 8 pm, Vigils 8.45/8.30 pm on Feast days), hospitality, with about twelve bedrooms and work.
In searching for a harmony between our work, our monastic vocation and our immediate surroundings, we have chosen to develop our typographic workshop and to become involved in the creation of artistic cards, invitations and announcement cards and items inspired by popular tradition.

Special features of our monastery

Since our origins we have prayed for Christian Unity ; to-day that intention is all the more important in our Mellois region. When we planned our new settlement, we decided to have neither a steeple nor any bells ringing. We wanted to avoid bringing back painful memories. One could not think of building a church in an area where none of the five villages around (Aigonnay, Thorigné, La Couarde, Beaussais et Vitré) has a catholic church; a rarity in France !
On December 31st, with other Christians, we step into the New Year reading together a whole book of the Bible. For Easter, at the Pascal Dawn Office, Protestants and Catholics walk to the monastery for a joyful celebration of the Resurrection followed by a convivial breakfast !
For about two years we have been keen on ecology and every October 4th, we celebrate a Creation Day, with many guests present.



  • Federation : Notre-Dame du Calvaire
  • Diocese : Poitiers
  • Ecclesiastical province : Poitiers

Contact our monastery

Monastère de l’Annonciation
Pié – Foulard