The Augustinian Recollects are a religious order composed of approximately 1200 religious who, living the fraternal life in community, desire to follow Christ, chaste, poor and obedient. They search for the truth and serve the Church while seeking to grow in charity according to the charism of St. Augustine and the particular emphasis of the Recollection, a movement of interiority and evangelical intensity.
The Order came into being in the 16th century when a group of Augustinian religious, under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, discovered among themselves a collective charism by which they sought to live a life of renewed fervor and of new norms at the service of the Church. The Chapter of the Province of Castile celebrated in Toledo, Spain, in the year 1588, determined that in certain houses of the province, this new manner of life would be lived. Within a few years of the initiation of the Recollection, in 1605, the number of these religious departed on their first missionary expedition to the Philippines.
The Augustinian Recollects of today are heirs to a form of life first initiated by St. Augustine (354-430) and revised in the 13th century with a mendicant style by the Order of St. Augustine in the Great Union of 1256. After more than three centuries of existence, the Recollects were recognized by the Church as an autonomous religious order.
The corporate style of the Recollects is that which is proper to a religious order born as a result of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and approved by the Church. The religious live in a fraternal community in which they desire to follow Christ, chaste, poor and obedient. They search for the truth and serve the Church. They seek the perfection of charity following the charism of St. Augustine and the spirit of the Recollection.