The monastery of Montegudo (Navarra, Spain) was only one of three monasteries in Spain after the sale of church property in 1835. The fact that it was a house of formation for missionaries in the Philippines meant that it was not sold off by the Government and was permitted to carry on the Augustinian Recollect religious life in Spain

The missions, social projects and solidarity actions are a constant in the action of the Augustinian Recollect Family. The Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine has always lived in mission, since its very birth was motivated by the opening of the first evangelization missions in the Philippines in the 17th century. Since then, he has carried out his evangelizing activity following the mandate of Jesus in the places today called “frontiers”: there where it is necessary to defend the dignity of human life, social justice, equal opportunities, the defense of the most vulnerable.

Between September 1835 and January 1836 the Spanish Government sold the goods of the Religious Orders and prohibited the common life. The same thing occurred in Columbia in 1861. The Order was left without monasteries, superiors and the ability to organize themselves.

The monastery of Monteguado (Navarra, Spain) was only one of three monasteries in Spain after the sale of church property in 1835. The fact that it was a house of formation for missionaries in the Philippines meant that it was not sold off by the Government and was permitted to carry on the Augustinian Recollect religious life in Spain.

The Philippine missions saved the order from disappearing completely. The Spanish Government only allowed the existence of three monasteries in Spain, amongst them a Recollect one (that of Monteagudo, Navarra), because it formed the missionaries that the Government needed in order to perpetuate the colonial system.

For many years there were interferences by the Overseas Ministry, but the religious managed to recover their freedom, action and ability to reorganize themselves. In order to support the formative work in Monteagudo they would open colleges in Marcilla (Navarra, 1865) and San Millan de la Cogolla (La Rioja, 1878), to increase the number of novices and strengthen their academic and religious formation. The Order was able to rise again from the ashes.

Thus, between 1840 and 1895, they opened communities at an incredible rate. In 1842 fifty-two Recollects attended to 325,000 faithful in sixty-nine ministries. At the end of the century, in 1898, there were 330 Recollects and they attended to 1,500,000 faithful in 235 ministries. The Order did not fall foul to the selling of church property and simply disappear as occurred with many other religious congregations.

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