Augustinian Recollect Nuns

Families of monastic orders dedicated to the contemplative life

The origin of the Augustinian recollection is identical to that of the male recollection. The same chapter of Toledo of the Augustinians ordered the assignment of three or more monasteries for nuns who wished to embrace a more austere life.

In compliance with this order, on December 24, 1589, the first of these was opened in Madrid and the first candidates received the habit.

In 1594, they founded the second convent in Salamanca, and it was Mother Mariana de San José who, in 1603, in close collaboration with Father Agustín Antolínez, a professor in Salamanca, organised the third convent in Eibar and gave more complete rules by the spirituality of the time.

These constitutions, approved by Paul V in 1616, proposed a religious program that in no way differed from that outlined in the friars’ Forma de Vivir.

Both texts coincide in the vigour of their religious tension, in their communitarian intonation, and their ascetic demands.

With them in hand and her heart, Mother Mariana was able to begin the deployment that in a few years led the Recollects to the main cities of Spain and to some foreign ones: Lisbon, Galway (Ireland), Mexico, Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Lima.

At the end of the 17th century there were 37 monasteries and today there are some 550 nuns distributed in 45 monasteries in Spain (32), Mexico (11), the United States (1), and the Philippines (1).

In all of them, there have always lived select souls who have maintained the religious level of the community at a very high level and have contributed to the formation of orders (Discalced Mercedarian, Brigid Recollect, Josephine Trinitarians).

Antonia de Jesús (1612-96), foundress of the convents of Granada, Chiclana and Medina Sidonia; Isabel de la Madre de Dios (1614-87), foundress of those of Serradilla and Calzada; Guadalupe Vadillo (1874-1967), missionary in China and head of the Augustinian Recollect Missionary Sisters; and Monica de Jesús (1889-1964), a humble laywoman, whose heroic virtues have already been solemnly recognized by the Church (1992).

Augustinian Recollect Nuns