The Augustinian identity may be summed up as the search for God through a community in which we share our faith and life, and from which a wholehearted service of the Church and the world receives its emphasis and encouragement. Source
History Of The Order
The Order of St. Augustine was not founded by St. Augustine. It was formed in the 13th Century and is part of the Mendicant tradition. Mendicants have a lifestyle of poverty, traveling, and living in urban areas for purposes of preaching, evangelization, and ministry. Their name mendicant is derived from the Latin meaning "to beg". Read More About Mendicant Orders
The Little Union
In 1243 some Tuscan hermits groups petitioned Pope Innocent IV to unite them all as one group. Pope Innocent IV issued a pastoral letter also known as a bull which urged these hermits to adopt the Rule and way of life of the St. Augustine, to profess the Augustinian manner of life in a way that they themselves would decide with regards to specific charism and apostolate. The union of these groups is known as the Little Union of 1244.
The Grand Union
Pope Alexander IV issued many bulls which commanded a number of religious groups to gather for the purpose of being amalgamated into the Order of Saint Augustine. The delegates from these small religious communities met in Rome. As there were more groups who joined the smaller group formed in 1244 this union is known as the Grand Union of 1256. More on History
The flaming heart symbolizes Augustine's love of God and his brothers and sisters. The
Augustinian heart is passionately alive, with the desire to know God and experience divine love.
The open book symbolizes the Word of God, source of light and truth, and the quest for wisdom. The Sacred Scriptures was the book through which St. Augustine owed his conversion to Christianity.
The arrow which pierces the heart represents the Spirit of God piercing our hearts, calling us to ongoing conversion and continued growth in faith, hope and love. This is the basis of that great restlessness, so typical of St. Augustine, which led him to seek God in all things and above all things.
Spirituality Of The Augustinian Order
The spirituality of the Order of St. Augustine has been influenced by the Rule of St. Augustine, the mendicant spirituality and the men from many communities who joined in 1244 and 1256. Augustinian spirituality is to be lived according to the time, place, and culture and in harmony with the charism of the order. Rule of St. Augustine
In the Constitutions of the Order of St. Augustine paragraph 13 we read “The purpose of the Order consists in this, that united harmoniously in brotherhood and spiritual friendship, we seek and worship God and work for the service of his people. In this way, we share in the Church’s work of evangelization bringing the Good News to the whole world "so that we may thus transform the world from within. This is our witness." Constitutions Of The Order Of St. Augustine
The Augustinian spirituality is based on these four headings
1. EVANGELICAL AND ECCLESIAL ASPECTS
2. THE SEARCH FOR GOD AND INTERIORITY
3. COMMUNION OF LIFE - COMMUNITY
4. SERVICE TO THE CHURCH AND EVANGELIZATION
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