Missions and social works. Missionaries by inheritance

The Augustinian Recollection, missionary right from the start

In 1588, some of these Augustinians from the Province of Castilla responded to call of revision and reform for the mendicant orders, from which emerged the orders now called “discalced” or in the case of the Augustinians, “Recollects”. The History of the Church tends to reflect in these new orders the sense of asceticism, seclusion and the monastic life. But it would incorrect to not also concentrate in their apostolic and responsible proposal. One of the main sources of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects is Book of Chronicles, which relates in its first volume the first of the missions “to the mountains” in the High Pyrenees, almost immediately after the first expedition to the Philippines.

Saints of the Order. Mosaic in the General House of the Augustinian Recollects in Rome, Italy. From left to right, Vicente Soler, Magdalena de Nagasaki, Thomas de Villanueva y Ezekiel Moreno. The most distinguished recollects have in common lives whose history has important missionary elements. Saints of the Order. Mosaic in the General House of the Augustinian Recollects in Rome, Italy. From left to right, Vicente Soler, Magdalena de Nagasaki, Thomas de Villanueva y Ezekiel Moreno. The most distinguished recollects have in common lives whose history has important missionary elements.

The mission to the Philippines is what has marked later history. It was the first destination for the Recollect missionaries. The first prior provincial, fray Juan de San Jerónimo, received from the King Felipe III the offer to be Bishop of San Cristóbal de Chiapas. But the good friar responded to the king, that instead of such a grace, it was permitted him to head a mission to “new lands”. The monarch chose the Philippines and demanded an expedition of twelve religious.

The Augustinian Recollects chose fourteen of the many who offered to go. On May the first 1605, the Chapter ordered Juan de San Jerónimo, the outgoing provincial, to take charge of the first expedition. He chose religious from the half a dozen existing Recollect monasteries: Jerónimo de Cristo, Miguel de la Madre de Dios, Diego de la Anunciación, Pedro de San Fulgencio, Rodrigo de San Miguel, Francisco Bautista, Francisco de la Madre de Dios, Andrés de San Nicolás, Juan de San Guillermo, Jerónimo de la Madre de Dios, Francisco de San Jerónimo, Simón de San José y Andrés del Espíritu Santo. They were the first missionaries in the history of the Recollection.

Mural explaining the first journey of the Augustinian Recollect missionaries to the Philippines. Mural explaining the first journey of the Augustinian Recollect missionaries to the Philippines. Download large mural [2.2Mb].
On the 10th of May 1606 they arrived in Manila. In this way began a large and rich missionary Recollect history, with a series of almost uninterrupted expeditions, which during four centuries, have sustained Christianity with their work, their sweat, and occasionally, with their blood.

Without being an exclusively missionary Order, the missions have been an inescapable part of the historical, spiritual and charismatic heritage of the Order. They have provided internal cohesion, corporative spirit and a living witness to its activity in the world. The Order has felt useful in the Church and society; it has enabled the religious to look beyond their inner world. In the 19th century the missions saved the Order of the Augustinian Recollects from perishing amidst the historical changes, and at the beginning of the 20th century they gave the Order the necessary impulse in order to be accepted as an Order within the Church and the Augustinian family.

In the missions the life of the Augustinian Recollects was extended which has reached as far as the altars of sanctity: Magdalena de Nagasaki, Ezekiel Moreno, Francisco de Jesús, Vicente de San Antonio, Melchor de San Agustín, Martín de san Nicolás…As well as hundreds of martyrs who, throughout history, have given witness to their faith by handing over their very lives.


The three stages of the Augustinian Recollect missions
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Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.

Paseo de la Habana, 167. 28036 - Madrid, Spain. Telephone: 913 453 460. CIF(fiscal registration number): R-2800087-E. Entered in the Register of Religious Organizations, of the Ministry of Justice, number 1398-a-SE/B. Develepod by Shunet for OAR Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine. © 2018 - 2019.