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Friday, 18 April 2014
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I ask you: From whom is he distant he who is everywhere? Of whom do you think except of those who lie so disfigured, destroying in themselves the image of God? Made so unlike God, they withdrew from him; reformed, let them return. And how can he say, we shall be reformed? When we return to our…...

gazpio_0
April 2014. SPAIN

The translation of the remains of Mariano Gazpio stirs up the spirit of the first mission in China

The Augustinian Recollect missionary had worked in China for 28 years before his expulsion in 1952. He died in1989 in Marcilla, Navarra, at the age of 89. In January 2000 the cause of his beatification was opened, and on the 29th March this year his remains were translated to the feet of Our Lady of Consolation in the church of the town’s…

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Contemplative life

The Augustinian Recollect charism is share by the monasteries of Augustinian Recollect Nuns or the Second Order born at the same time and with the same spiritual aspirations as the first Augustinian Recollect friars. The sisters by their contemplative life manifest this fundamental dimension of our charism.

Augustinian Recollect Nuns

The origin of the feminine recollection is identical to that of the masculine. The same Chapter of Toledo of the Augustinian friars ordained the erection of three or more monasteries for the female religious who might desire to live a more austere way of life. In fulfillment of this directive, a first convent was opened in Madrid on December 24, 1589, and the first candidates received the habit.

In 1594, they established a second convent in Salamanca. It was only at the beginning of the 17th century that a charismatic figure appeared who stirred the spirits and who was able to give institutional character to their aspirations.

Mother Mariana de San José was the person, who in 1603 and in close cooperation with Father Agustín Antolínez, a professor in Salamanca, organized the third convent in Eibar and gave the most complete set of norms in harmony with the spirituality of the time.

These Constitutions, approved by Pope Paul V in 1616, provided a religious program differing but little from the Forma de vivir of the friars. Both texts coincide in the vigor of their orientation, the emphasis on community and in the ascetical dimensions.

With these Constitutions in heart and hand, Mother Mariana was able to initiate a movement, which in a few years carried the Recollect nuns to establish monasteries in the principal cities of Spain and elsewhere, Lisbon, Galway (Ireland), México, Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Lima. By the end of the 17th century, there were 37 monasteries.

In 2004, there were 45 monasteries located in Spain (28), Mexico (13), United States (1), Philippines (1), and Brazil (1). Since that time, they have closed two monasteries and opened a new foundation in Kenya. The monasteries of the Augustinian Recollect Nuns are grouped in two federations, that of Spain and that of Mexico.

In all of these monasteries dedicated souls have lived and maintained a high level of religious life in community and have contributed to the foundation of other congregations. It will be sufficient to mention, Antonia de Jesús (1612-1695), foundress of the convents of Granada, Chiclana, and Medina Sidonia; Isabel of the Mother of God, (1614-1687) foundress of Serradilla and Calzada; Guadalupe Vadillo (1874-1969), responsible for the restoration of the Recollection in Mexico; Esperanza Eyerbe (1890-1967), missionary in China and superior of the Missionary Augustinian Recollect Sisters; Mónica de Jesús, a humble religious whose life of virtue has been recognized by the Church (1992).


Discalced Augustinian Nuns of St. Juan de Ribera

The Discalced Augustinian Nuns are the spiritual daughters of the apostolic zeal of St. Juan de Ribera (1532-1611). Unable to obtain directly the assistance of St. Teresa de Jesús in establishing a contemplative convent in the diocese of Valencia, he took it upon himself to make the foundation. He began the foundation with 3 sisters from a convent of Discalced Carmelites and 3 from the Augustinian canonesses.

The new community established itself in a monastery in Alcoy in 1597. The holy founder gave the community the Rule of St. Augustine and the Constitutions of St. Teresa. The spirituality of the Augustinians and of St. Teresa as well as devotion to the Holy Eucharist became the characteristics of the sister’s way of life.

The Blessed Inés of Benigánim (1625-1696), model of contemplative love, and the Blessed Josefa Masiá (1887-1936), martyr for the faith, examples of holiness.

On July 30, 1957, as a result of a general assembly presided over by Fr. Eugenio Ayape, Prior General of the Augustinian Recollects, and in conformity with a decree from the Congregation for Religious, the Federation of the Monasteries of Discalced Augustinian Nuns of Spain was established. Since that date, the sisters have been attended in spiritual matters by the Augustinian Recollects. As of 2006, the Federation included the monasteries of Alcoy, L’Olleria, Beniganim and Murcia. There are 31 nuns distributed in these houses.

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