The Augustinian Recollects are a religious order composed of approximately 1200 religious who, living the fraternal life in community, desire to follow Christ, chaste, poor and obedient.
They search for the truth and serve the Church while seeking to grow in charity according to the charism of St. Augustine and the particular emphasis of the Recollection, a movement of interiority and evangelical intensity.
The Order came into being in the 16th century when a group of Augustinian religious, under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, discovered among themselves a collective charism by which they sought to live a life of renewed fervour
and of new norms at the service of the Church.
The Chapter of the Province of
Castile celebrated in Toledo, Spain, in the year 1588, determined that in
certain houses of the province, this new manner of life would be lived. Within
a few years of the initiation of the Recollection, in 1605, some of these
religious departed on their first missionary expedition to the Philippines.
The Augustinian Recollects of today are heirs to a form of
life first initiated by St. Augustine (354-430) and revised in the 13th century with a mendicant style by the Order of St. Augustine in the Great Union of
1256. After more than three centuries of existence, the Recollects were recognized by the Church as an autonomous religious order.
The corporate style of the Recollects is that which is proper
to a religious order born as a result of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and
approved by the Church.
The religious live in a fraternal community in which
they desire to follow Christ, chaste, poor and obedient. They search for the truth and serve the Church. They seek the perfection of charity following the
charism of St. Augustine and the spirit of the Recollection.
The charism is an experience of the Holy Spirit which implies
a specific way of life, a specific mission and spirituality, a style of
fraternal living, and a readiness to serve in the mission of the Church.
Augustinian charism proposes the love of God without conditions, a love which
unifies the hearts and souls of the brothers in a communal life style and which
proposes to unite all mankind in Christ within the Church.
By faithfully living
their charism, the Recollects seek to transmit to others that vitality which
flows from the Holy Spirit and which is constantly renewed by a permanent
process of formation in order to be readily available for service to the
The spiritual patrimony of the Order includes the doctrine
and “Rule of St. Augustine”, the “Forma de vivir” from the beginnings of the
Recollection and the witness to holiness of so many brothers who, faithful to
the Spirit, have given their lives to its history.
The Constitutions are an expression of the charism of the Order and provide for a way of life faithful to the following of Christ in harmony with the vocation of an Augustinian Recollect. The three constitutive
elements of the charism are summarized in the Constitutions as contemplative
love, orderly love of community, and the diffusive love of the apostolate.
The Order consists of religious priests and brothers who,
together, live their vocation, share fraternal life in community, and dedicate
themselves to the mission they exercise.