Origin and Charism

The Augustinian Recollects are a religious order made up of about 1,000 religious who, living fraternal life in community, want to follow Christ, chaste, poor and obedient; they seek the truth and are at the service of the Church; they strive to grow in charity according to the charism of St. Augustine and the intensity proper to the Recollection, a movement of interiority and evangelical radicality.


First of all, dear brothers and sisters, let us love God, and then our neighbor, for these are the principal commands given to us (cf. Mt 22:36-40). Rule of our Father Saint Augustine

In the 16th century, some Augustinian religious of the province of Castile, driven by a special collective charism, wished to live with renewed fervor and new norms the form of consecrated life that St. Augustine founded in the Church, illustrated with his doctrine and example, and ordained in his holy Rule. Something similar happened at the beginning of the 17th century in the Augustinian Province of Colombia.

The Augustinian Recollects are heirs of the way of life inspired by St. Augustine (354-430) and assumed in the 13th century in a mendicant spirit by the Order of St. Augustine (Great Union of 1256). After more than three centuries of history, in 1912, they were recognized by the Church as an autonomous religious order.

Their life project is that of a religious order, raised under the impulse of the Holy Spirit and approved by the Church: living in communion of brothers, they desire to follow Christ, chaste, poor and obedient; they seek the truth and are at the service of the Church; they strive for the perfection of charity according to the charism of St. Augustine and the spirit of the recollection.


The Forma de Vivir, written by Friar Luis de León, was approved by the Provincial Definitory in September 1589 and, eight years later, obtained pontifical confirmation. Its fourteen chapters translate and concretize the desire for greater perfection in an intensification of contemplative and community life, and in an accentuation of the ascetic traits of religious life. They began to be practiced in the convent of Talavera in October 1589.

The charism is an experience of the Holy Spirit that implies a specific way of being, a specific mission and spirituality, style of fraternal life and structure at the service of the ecclesial mission. The Augustinian charism is summed up in the unconditional love of God, which unites souls and hearts in the community life of brothers, and which spreads to all people in order to unite them in Christ within his Church. The experience of their own charism transmits to them the vitality that comes from the Holy Spirit, constantly renews them and impels them to ongoing formation in order to be available for the service of the Church.

The spiritual patrimony of the Order is the life, doctrine and Rule of St. Augustine, the “Forma de Vivir” of the beginnings of the Recollection and the witness of holiness of so many friars who, faithful to the Spirit, have given life to its history.

The Constitutions are the expression of the charism of the Order and propose the particular way of following Jesus in response to the vocation of Augustinian Recollects. They integrate the three constitutive aspects of the charism: contemplative love, communitarian ordained love and apostolic diffusive love.

The Order is made up of religious priests and religious brothers, all of whom live their vocation, share fraternal life in community and have a mission to fulfill.