1621-2021: Four centuries of the First General Chapter


The Order of Augustinian Recollects will begin to celebrate on November 29 the 400th anniversary of the first general chapter, held in 1621 in the historic convent of Madrid.

November 19, 1621. It is the date of the beginning of the first general chapter of the Augustinian Recollects. We are in Madrid, in the convent whose construction works had been completed just a few months earlier. In the Chapter of the then Congregation of the Augustinian Recollects it was decided to create the Provinces of Castilla, Aragon, Andalusia and the Philippines, the latter with the name of San Nicolás de Tolentino. It was the continuation of a path that had begun on December 5, 1588 and that, despite the difficulties, would not have an apparent end.

The Order of Augustinian Recollects will begin to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first general chapter, which took place from November 19 to 30, 1621. The beginning of this year of remembrance and celebration will be in the same place where the remembered event began: in the original and historic convent of the Augustinian Recollects in Madrid, where the National Library of Spain is currently located. On November 29 at 10 am (Spanish time) a commemorative event will be held at the Spanish National Library. Subsequently, on November 30, the date on which the chapter concluded, the opening Eucharist will be celebrated at the Monastery of the Incarnation, of the Augustinian Recollects, in Madrid.

Centennial opening in Madrid

The commemorative act of January 29 will recall the origins of the place, the importance of the fact that is remembered and the history that the Augustinian Recollects have traveled through the centuries since its foundation in 1588. The Prior General and the president of the institute of Spirituality and History of the Order will take part in the event, which will be presented by the director of the magazine Vida Nueva, José Beltrán.

The Monastery of the Incarnation has been the place chosen to celebrate the opening Eucharist that will officially begin the 400th anniversary of the first general chapter. The celebration will be presided over by the Prior General, Miguel Miró, and will be attended by the major superiors, religious, members of the Augustinian Recollect family and invited personalities.

It will be the starting point of a year in which the Order of Augustinian Recollects intends to remember the past in order to look to the future. The main milestones of this year of celebration will be the 56th General Chapter, which will take place from. on March 1 in Rome, and the four provincial chapters, which will take place throughout the year 2022. The closing will be on December 5, 2022, on the 434th anniversary of the Augustinian Recollection.

National Library of Spain, where the historic Augustinian Recollects Convent of Madrid was located.

“Hope for the future”

The Chapter of 1621 was summoned by order of Cardinal Antonio Sauli, protector of the Order of Saint Augustine, whom Pope Gregory XV had commissioned the execution of what was established in his brief Militantis Ecclesiae , of June 5, 1621. With this brief , the Pontiff elevated the Province of Augustinian Recollects to the rank of Congregation, entrusted its government to a Vicar General and granted the new Congregation the power to organize itself in provinces, according to the geographical distribution of the convents, according to Ángel Martínez Cuesta in the first volume of the History of the Augustinian Recollects .

In a letter sent to the Augustinian Recollect religious, the Prior General, Miguel Miró, assured that “this Centenary is an opportunity to let the Lord touch our hearts.” “Let’s all stop for a bit, stop along the way, take a look at these 400 years, and try to extract proposals for life and hope for the future,” he says.

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