Independent Augustinian communities

Independent Augustinian communities are Roman Catholic religious communities that follow the Augustinian Rule, but are not under the jurisdiction of the Prior General of the Augustinian hermits in Rome.

They include the Augustinian nuns, the Canons Regular, the Augustinian Recollects, the Discalced Augustinian, the Norbertines, The Sisters of St Rita[1], the Augustinian Sisters of Mercy of Jesus (South Africa), The Augustinians of the Assumption (which includes Byzantine Rite congregations), the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception, the Brothers of the Assumption (in the Congo), the Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation (Philippines), Congregation of Our Lady of the Missions, and the Hospitallers of the Mercy of Jesus (Canada).

To a lesser extent there is a spiritual link, through the common Augustinian Rule with The Alexian Brothers (located in the USA, Europe, England, Ireland the Philippines and India), the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word[1] (who established the University of the Incarnate Word in Texas), and the Sisters of St. Joan of Arc (in Quebec, United States, and Rome), the Dominicans and the Brothers Hospitallers of St John of God.

Augustinian Nuns[edit]

The enclosed orders of women under the Augustinian Rule (as distinct from the active orders of religious women who also do) are usually not visible to the general public except via the internet. Historically, the most important of the observant Augustinian communities of women are:

The contemporary Augustinian nuns are established in centres as diverse as New Lenox, Illinois, Cascia in Italy, Rome, Tabalong in the Philippines, and Kenya in Africa.

Notable Augustinian nuns include composer Vittoria Aleotti (who composed the first sacred music by a woman ever to appear in print), mystic Anne Catherine Emmerich whose book The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ was an important influence to Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ, and the mystic Saint Rita of Cascia.

Canons Regular of Saint Augustine[edit]

Whilst not being a branch of the Augustinian family, the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, who have been known in English as the "Black Canons," or the "Augustinian Canons," constitute one of the oldest and most prestigious Latin Rite orders. This ancient order is made up of nine independent congregations confederated internationally in 1959, and the Confederation of Canons Regular of St Augustine elects an Abbot Primate. They have houses in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, and Uruguay. The different congregation include: The Canons Regular of St. John Lateran, the Austrian Congregation of Canons Regular, based in the ancient abbeys of Herzogenburg, Klosterneuburg, Neustift, Reichersberg, Sankt Florian, Vorau and Neustift that look after over 100 parishes in Austria and South Tyrol (Italy), the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception, The Canons Regular of St. Victor, The Canons Regular of Great St. Bernard, The Canons Regular of St. Maurice, the Canons Regular of Windesheim, The Brothers of the Common Life, The Canons Regular of Our Lady, Mother of the Redeemer.

Discalced Augustinians (Barefoot)[edit]

An offshoot from the hermit friars (not counted comprehensively in this article), resulting from reform efforts. These barefoot Augustinians (in France Augustins déchaussés) were founded about 1560 by Thomas a Jesu (d. 1582).

The Premonstratensians (Premonstratensians)[edit]

This order of Canons Regular also follow the Rule of St. Augustine, and were founded by St Norbert. At the end of the 20th century, there were more than one hundred Premonstratensian monasteries worldwide and over 1,500 canons and lay brothers.

The Dominican friars[edit]

The Dominican Friars follow the rule of St. Augustine given to them by their founder, Saint Dominic, who had been a canon regular, before embarking on the life that led to the establishment of the Order. The Dominicans in 1216 formally adopted the Augustinian Rule.

Brothers Hospitallers of St John of God[edit]

Not an historical offshoot, but following the Augustinian Rule, this institute was founded by the Portuguese Saint John of God in Spain during the 16th century. They conduct 231 health care and social welfare services throughout the world and are the official health care providers to the Pope.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ c.f. The Rule of Saint Augustine and the Constitutions of the Order of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament (New York: Schwartz, Kirwin, and Fauss, 1893), pp. 33–35.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainJackson, Samuel Macauley, ed. (1914). "article name needed". New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (third ed.). London and New York: Funk and Wagnalls.