The origins of our history are the events in the famous Bosnian village of Medjugorje. Here, in the year 1987, several young men and women were touched by the presence of the Queen of Peace. They began to try and live the messages of Our Lady - prayer, penitence and conversion - transforming them into a lifestyle compatible with consecrated life. Mary had “met” them at a crossroads in their journey and had led them to the Author of all Peace: Jesus, alive in His church. These brothers and sisters, the first of the community, confided their aspirations to a Passionist Priest, Fr. Gianni Sgreva, who began to guide them spiritually. Finally, on the 25th of March 1987, the Marian Community – Oasis of Peace was founded from a juridical point of view. The first house was opened in Priabona (Vicenza – Italy) on the 18th of May of the same year. The first official recognition from the Church was given by the Bishop of the diocese of Sabina – Poggio Mirteto, Italy (25th of December, 1990), while the community became a public association of the Christian Faithful on the 5th of February, 1999, with a view to becoming an Institute of Consecrated Life. Composed of brothers and sisters from all parts of the world, the community is present today in Italy, Cameroon and Brazil. Each Oasis of Peace is integrated into the context of the diocese in which it finds itself, where it becomes a centre of spirituality and culture.
From the era of the Patriarchs up to the time of Jesus, an “oasis”, in biblical imagery, is not simply a place of rest for nomads in the desert, where they can draw water and refresh themselves from the heat of the surrounding desert. It is also a “dwelling-place” (Isaiah 32: 18) where life, culture and human cohabitation arise, due to the presence of the essential gift of water. This is the biblical ideal which our communities, named “Oases of Peace”, seek to fulfill. The contemplative dimension of our oases permits those who visit us to draw strength from God (cf. Eph. 6: 10), the “source of living waters” (Jer. 2: 13). From here a fraternal atmosphere is created and this, in turn, gives rise to a new culture.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, teaches us how to pray with our hearts as She guides us in our spiritual life. From Her we learn about the importance of silence, a characteristic of daily life in the house of Nazareth. From Mary and with Mary we learn how to “treasure the Word and ponder it in our hearts” (cf. Luke 2: 19) and thus we are drawn by Her into the art of contemplation, in order to implore the gift of the Holy Spirit who gives us peace. A suitable icon of our lives is thus the “Upper Room” or Cenacle in Jerusalem, where the first community of Christians gathered around Our Lady in prayer. We never cease to learn from the example of Our Lady those virtues which render our Oases authentic spaces of encounter, communion and fraternal life. We desire to become ever more similar to Her; indeed, Mary is an indispensable point of reference for our whole existence.
"Mary, who became the Mother of the Church and humanity by the foot of the Cross, seeks our cooperation to save many brothers and sisters in search of Peace. Having received the gift of Peace, we do not want to keep it to ourselves. Entrusting our lives to Her, we joyfully declare our willingness to help so that the Queen of Peace can use us as Her instruments for the fulfilment of the Father’s plan of Salvation, with the witness and sacrifice of our lives for the salvation of the world"(Rule of Life, no.3)