Augustine of Hippo is our founder and the father of an extensive Religious Family that follows his Rule, his teachings and his way of life. In these pages we approach his biography, his sensitivity, his way of life and his proposals to men and women of all times.

And they got away with it, as has happened on so many occasions: the power of the Holy Spirit, like that of the tides, sweeps away all obstacles. The aspirations of so many of my friars, seconded by King Felipe II, crystallized in 1588. This is the year in which the Barefoot Augustinians or Recollects are born, the Augustinians who want to lead a more collected life, more intensely dedicated to God and to the community. They are again my aspirations; in them I have seen myself reflected again and I have recognized myself. All the more so since they do not have a specific founder; That is why I took them, from the beginning, under my special care.

Agustín señala el camino. Santiago Bellido, lámina. Valladolid, 1999.
Augustine points the way. Santiago Bellido, plate. Valladolid, Spain, 1999.

I have said that they were born in 1588. By decision of a Chapter of the Province of Castile or, in short, by the work and grace of the Church itself. In addition, as the attendees confessed, they arise “so as not to put obstacles to the work of the Holy Spirit.” And immediately they are recognized and favored by the Pope. What more could you want? What greater certainty that his spirit was authentic?

Of course, almost from the beginning, they encountered difficulties: misunderstandings and quarrels over shoes, rivalries among themselves, several times they were on the verge of being suffocated… But when the seed is good, the earth is fertile and the sky helps, the spike always stands out and burrows. And I did not sit idly by: I took care of them like the newborns they were, I assisted them as they passed laws, made decisions, in studies, in prayer, in all the little details and moments of community life; I shaped them to my liking. And my joy increased as the foundations multiplied: first Talavera, Portillo and Nava del Rey; then Madrid; and then, in a cascade, El Toboso, Zaragoza, Borja, Jarandilla, Valladolid, Valencia and many other convents. What a joy!

NEXT PAGE: a. The XVII, a golden age