During the feast of the Japanese Augustinian Recollect martyrs of the seventeenth century eight new lay Augustinian Recollects made their promises
In the opening ceremony, the semblance of the eight Recollect Martyrs in Japan was offered: four friars - Blessed Vincent de San Antonio, Francisco de Jesus, Melchor de Saint Agustín and Martín de San Nicolás - and four Japanese laypeople -Saint Magdalena de Nagasaki, patron saint of the Augustinian Recollect Secular Fraternities, and blessed Lorenzo Hachizo de Saint Nicolás, Agustín de Jesús María, named Mancio, and Pedro de la Madre de Dios, nominated Pedro Kuhioe-.
The celebration was presided by the vicar of the Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, Rafael Mediavilla, with whom Augustinian Recollects of the houses in Madrid and the Prior General, Miguel Miró, concelebrated.
Seven of the eight new lay Augustinian Recollects belong to the Fraternity of the Parish of Saint Rita and one, to that of the Parish of Our Lady of Buenavista, in Getafe (Madrid). The group was also accompanied by secular Augustinian Recollects from the parishes of Saint Monica and Saint Florentina in Madrid, and by parishioners from the same parish of Saint Rita; but somehow all the Fraternities were represented by Antonio Larios Lizana, president of the National Council of the Fraternities, who was present.
The liturgical chants were led by the choir of the formation house Saint Augustine de Las Rozas (Madrid), which, under the direction of Professor Bernardo Alvarez de Benito, performed magnificently all the musical pieces.
In the homily, Rafael, after expressing the reasons for joy and gratitude for the event that was being held, exposed in a vivid tone the demands and implications that the life of faith meant for the Japanese martyrs, which, with the variations of time and place, now poses to every follower of Jesus the coherent experience of faith. He made a special reference to the eight new lay Augustinian Recollects, whom he proposed as an example to follow the lay Augustinian Recollect Japanese martyrs for their courage in the way of living and proclaiming the Gospel, both personally and in the ecclesial community among their fellow citizens.
The rite of "issuing the promises of evangelical life as Augustinian Recollects" was carried out with all solemnity under the direction of deacon Germán Antonio Antón and, once the president of the assembly accepted them as members of the Augustinian Recollect Fraternity and participants of all their spiritual benefits, each one was given the "Rule of life" and a badge with the coat of arms of the Order, as a special badge. The embrace of peace that was received by both the concelebrants and all the fraternal members present was the way to express the welcome and belonging to the Augustinian Recollect Family.
The Eucharistic celebration followed its ritual development, but the Holy Eucharist was distributed to all the assistants under both species.
After the final blessing the Prior General offered a few words of congratulations to the new fraternity members and thanked God because the Augustinian Recollect charism is still alive in the Church.
To close the liturgical act, the hymn to Our Lady of Consolation was sung by the Augustinian Recollect, Domingo Carceller.
After the liturgical celebration a reception followed in the parish hall.