HISTORY

Origin of the OAD

   

Augustine was fond of friendship and community life, Cassiaciaco, Tagaste, Hippo.

He lived always surrounded by friends and brothers building community.  When Augustine died over one hundred communities were following his way of life, many being presided by his former  community members, going on along the middle age centuries.

FORMATION OF THE ORDER: 1220 - 1256

 

The Order of St. Augustine had its direct origin from several eremitical groups in central Italy. Some of these hermitage communities traced their beginnings back to the mentioned middle age. Their dwellers were simple men with a high concept of the majesty of God Whom, in accordance with the ideas of the time, they believed they could serve better in solitude. Their spirituality was very heterogeneous, since each group was free to organize itself according to its own preferences. Manual labor, penitential practices and the repeated recitation of vocal prayers filled their day. Sometimes they took care of rural chapels or looked after travelers and pilgrims.

   On the year 1256 the Church challenged the different communities to organize themselves – an order was born under the sign of St. Augustine and in the mendicant model. To form “One Mind and One Heart” was a constant struggle.

THE REFORM IN ITALY: THE ORDER OF THE DISCALCED AUGUSTINIANS

   

The 19th of May 1592 can be considered in a right sense as the DIES NATALIS (=day of birth) of our Order. On this day, the 100th General Chapter of OSA taken place in Rome in the convent of Saint Augustine, formulated a Decree "ET QUONIAM SATIS" which prescribed the Reform in all convents in the Order. The text goes this way: "Since it is obviously evident that not a few Religious in the Order stayed away from the observance of the moral norms and of the canon laws through which the features of fraternal charity and of the old religious discipline can hardly be recognized and on the other hand, having an ardent desire to make flourish again our Order in the sanctity of life and of works by making it shine to the world as the luminous example of every virtue, the Definitory Fathers have decreed that as the prime concern, our Roman Cenobite, being a model, should be reformed and then likewise those neighboring convents and later on, if it would be possible, all cenobites and monasteries of our Order. This is either to set right the customs or to uproot any kind of material abuse in the possession of goods or to remove any stain or mistake until to the smallest defect."

 

In July 20,1592, Fr. Andrew Diaz, in Naples, gave the reformed habit to the first four Disalced Augustinians. They were clothed with rough wool, everybody took off his socks and shoes as a way of giving a formal start of the Reform. As a whole, these first Religious can be considered as the MORAL FOUNDERS of the Order for they interpreted the Rule of St. Augustine in all its course of demand according to the General Chapter. Between 1592 and 1598, the year in which the first Constitutions were approved, with their way of life they formed the typical features of the Charism of the Discalced Augustinians from the womb of the Augustinian Family.

THE DEVELOPMENTS OF THE REFORM (1620 - 1764)

As the number of Religious raised, so also did the foundation of convents in different parts of Italy and in Central Europe (Bohemia, Austria, Moravia, Slovenia, Baviera and Slesia). The centers of missionary works were consequently opened in Tonchino (North Vietnam). In 1640, the convents founded were 46 and in 1731, 94.

Of the OAD branch in France  initiated by the OAD from Italy, little is left today, because of the French revolution, only the Place des Petits-Pères (the small fathers) as the OAD were called in France, the Plaza is right in front of the church Notre-Dame-des-Victoires – Our Lady of Victory, which belonged to the OAD.

   

The Order finally felt the desire to start the mission in Asia at the late years of 1600 and consequently, the decision to open a mission in a Muslim-occupied Peloponneso for evangelization was approved on October 20, 1687, but due to the political instability of that place, it was withdrawn but then, it was detoured towards the extreme East of Asia, Tonchino (North Vietnam) and China. The Discalced Augustinians were present there for 114 years from 1697 to 1811.

Mission with passion

1948 the first OAD missionaries left for Brazil, today the St. Rita of Cassia province is flourishing in several states of the country  and in Paraguay too.

1994 from Brazil  the OAD moved to Asia, being present today, as the Philippine province  of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, in Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, India

  

"If you love Christ, share your love to the whole world because throughout the whole world are scattered the member of Christ." (St. Augustine. Comm. St. Jn 10,8)

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Mission with passion

 

1948 the first OAD missionaries left for Brazil, today the St. Rita of Cassia province is flourishing in several states of the country  and in Paraguay too.

1994 from Brazil  the OAD moved to Asia, being present today, as the Philippine province  of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, in Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, India

   "If you love Christ, share your love to the whole world because throughout the whole world are scattered the member of Christ."

(St. Augustine. Comm. St. Jn 10,8)