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Frères de Saint-Jean Province de France
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Our life

Frères de saint-Jean adoration eucharistique

Our life is built upon four pillars: prayer, fraternity, study and apostolic activity.

Prayer life

Community times of silent prayer bring us together and punctuate our day; they allow us to receive the word of God into the depths of our being so that we can remain in him. Prayer is at the heart of our vocation and its renewal; through prayer, we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us; it brings life to our consecration and is reflected in our fraternal and apostolic life.

The celebration of Mass is the source and summit of our day and is extended in daily adoration of the Eucharist as a community. It is a wellspring from which we draw, enlivening our personal relationship with Christ, helping us to lead a life in common and sustaining us in our apostolic work.

Daily celebration of a large part of the Liturgy of the Hours as a community nourishes our relationship with Christ, integrates us into the prayer of the Church and builds up our fraternal communion.

Our prayer life has two principal dimensions: the liturgy and silent prayer.

Our day is punctuated by singing as a community the Liturgy of the Hours (Lauds, Sext, Vespers, Compline) and the celebration of Mass, which is the summit of our day.

Every morning and every evening we also dedicate a period of time to silent prayer. These moments of inner silent prayer or Eucharistic adoration are essential for us. We wish to dwell with Christ, as did St John when he rested his head upon the heart of Jesus during the Last Supper. Through this we draw light and love from the wellspring of Christ’s heart, both for ourselves and for those to whom we are sent. In this way contemplation becomes the source of our apostolic activities.

The brothers also try to pray the rosary on a daily basis.

A liturgy that combines beauty, sobriety and recollection

The melody of the psalms and many of the other pieces of music we sing were composed by Magdalith. Some of the brothers also compose liturgical music that we like to use during our major celebrations, such as professions and ordinations.

Photo de groupe de frères de Saint Jean

Life in community

We are called to make our communities places where love and truth meet, and so we live a life together of service, simplicity, joy, sharing, seeking the truth and listening to God in his Word and in our lives. Our priories strive to be radiant centres of prayer, charity and light.

Our life in common takes on a daily liturgical form through elements such as the wearing of the habit, silence in the cloister, the way we meet in chapter and community meals.

Our various chapters (General, Provincial, Conventual, etc.) play an important role in responding to our common call. The vitality of our communities requires every brother to participate, enabling us to discern together the direction of life in our priories and apostolic activities.

Community life: an oasis for living the mystery of charity

We live out our religious life in community so that we might better live the mystery of charity. Our communities take the form of priories of between 5 and 10 brothers. Our fraternal life is characterised by simplicity, joy and welcome. It blossoms in our apostolic life, where the brothers work together and help each other to accomplish their missions. Discover the lighter side of our fraternal life in photos!


Within our ongoing, integral formation, study takes the form of philosophical and theological inquiry, establishing a fruitful dialogue between faith and reason. In this way, we aim to prepare ourselves to receive wisdom, the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Our quest for truth and wisdom is embodied in personal and community study, as well as in the different elements of our lives, including the most practical. Every circumstance in life can be an opportunity to deepen our search for truth.

Daily meditation on the Scriptures holds a special place in our search for Christ, the Word of God and the light of mankind. It nourishes our preaching.

Study, initial formation and ongoing personal growth

Our life of study includes a period of initial formation received during the first years in the community. You can find an overview of this period here. As well as this initial formation, it is possible for brothers to pursue studies at university and receive a State or Canonical qualification.

Every year the Director of Formation General encourages the brothers to deepen their understanding on a personal and community level of a particular subject of philosophical or theological inquiry.

Apostolic life

We are committed to the evangelising mission of the Church, whether that means taking on missions entrusted to us by a local bishop or developing our own projects. In everything we do we want to be open to the call of the Holy Spirit.

Our main apostolate is human and Christian formation.
In different ways, the common life of each priory, through its prayer, shared mission and fraternal cooperation, is a place of welcome where each and every person can discover Christ’s love and walk with him.

Delve a little deeper

Listen to a psalm from our liturgy

On a lighter note!

The daily life of a Brother

We live in small communities, called priories, made up of 5-10 brothers. The day begins with a time of silent interior prayer in the chapel, followed by the office of Lauds.

The morning is spent either in apostolic work, such as visiting the sick or giving catechism classes, for example, or in study or preparation for apostolic work such as homilies, classes, etc. The mass is a special moment in our day and is celebrated either in the morning or late afternoon. We sing a short Midday Office in the morning, usually just before lunch. Like the mornings, our afternoons are often spent doing apostolic work.

During the week, we also give some time to the material needs of the priory (shopping, cleaning, minor repairs, etc.), as well as to relaxation and sport. There are also moments for reflection and for coming together as a community, such as the chapter, for example.

At the end of the afternoon we have a time of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Office of Vespers is sung in common. The final office of the day is Compline, and it is celebrated either together as a community or individually.

What are the 3 vows ?

We take three vows: the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Life according to these vows corresponds to « that form of life which he, as the Son of God, accepted in entering this world.» (Vita Consecreta, 16)

That is why, as we make this promise to live according to the three vows, we rely upon God’s mercy and the help of our brothers (Cf. Rite of Profession). We desire to unite ourselves as closely as possible to Jesus, seeking a “gradual identification with the attitude of Christ towards the Father.” (Vita Consecrata, 65).

What is the common life ?

The common life we live is a response to Jesus’ commandment : « love one another as I have loved you » (Jn 13: 34) – the commandment that was His testament.

The apostle John reminds us that the sure path to knowing God is loving one’s brother (1 Jn 4:7). “Living together like brothers” is a joyful experience (see Psalm 132:1) but it is also a responsibility: “What have you done to your brother?” (Gen. 4:10). Our common life follows a rule that enables us to live a life of prayer, work, study and activity at the service of the Church.And so the brothers come together several times a day to sing the liturgy of the hours in community, especially lauds in the morning and vespers at the end of the afternoon. They spend time together relaxing, such as during meals or on fraternal trips outside of their priory. During their chapter they come together to discuss and decide upon aspects that concern their life and mission, both on a spiritual and practical level. They also spend time together as a community reflecting on an intellectual topic or the Word of God. The common life also entails material tasks, such as working in the kitchen, doing the laundry, maintaining the cars, cleaning, etc. The prior has the special role of bringing the community together and encouraging the brothers in their communion and mission.

The Brothers of Saint John in numbers