The Augustinians

The Augustinian Friars

The origins of the Augustinians as an order stretch back to the 13th century. At that time in northern Italy there were groups of hermits mostly living according to the Rule of St. Augustine.

These hermits formed the core of a new order of friars called into being by the Holy See in 1244 and 1256, in the wake of the other great orders of friars founded by St Francis and St. Dominic.

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St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo was born on 13 November, 354AD in a small town called Tagaste (now known as Souk-Ahras, Algeria) in Africa. The area at that time was under the imperial rule of Rome. His father, Patricius, was a town councillor. Patricius was a pagan but Monica, his mother, was a Christian. Augustine was registered as a Christian aspirant, since baptism was normally only given to adults.

Not the most enthusiastic of scholars, he would frequently play truant from school, but after his father died, a rich family friend sent him to the university of Carthage at the age of 16, having noticed that Augustine actually had a very sharp mind. It was there that he began to study seriously, being particularly interested in philosophy after having read Cicero's "Hortensius".

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A Brief History of the Augustinians at Clare

Founded in 1248, Clare Priory is one of the oldest religious houses in England, occupied by the order that founded it. The Augustinians, or Austin Friars, came to Clare from northern France at the invitation of the Earl of Clare, Gloucester and Hertford, Sir Richard de Clare, to build their first foundation in the British Isles. From here the Order established 34 houses, and was to spread all over England and Ireland during the Middle Ages, and in more recent times to the United States, Australia, Africa, and Korea.

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Work of the Augustinians

The Augustinians are found throughout the world, on every continent. The members of the province of England and Scotland are involved in ministries in parishes, hospitals, schools, university chaplaincies, youth groups, prison chaplaincies, developing communities, retreats, academic study and praying together.

If you have read the page on St. Augustine you will be aware of the community ideal that Augustine favoured; that same community ideal remains the basis and springboard for all our undertakings, 'one in mind and heart on the way to God'

Augustinian Vocations

Augustine's idea of searching for God finds an echo in many modern hearts and minds. Men and women are aware of a sense of vocation, of being called in a particular way. In the religious life, one way of responding to the call is as a friar in the Augustinian Order.

Augustine prayed: 'Lord, let me know myself, let me know you'.

Prayer in common, a programme of studies in philosophy and theology, a growing involvement in the life of the local church, a commitment to community life: these are some of the ways in which those who start out on the religious life are prepared and their vocations discerned.

Over the last few years the Augustinian Order in England and Scotland commenced a new initiative and opened a Vocation Discernment Community for men, based in London. It is for those men who are aware of God's calling, and are knocking at the door and awaiting the answer. Well our door is open, and inside may await your answer!

Friends of Augustine – Clare Priory Group

Friends of Augustine....
are part of the growing Lay Community who, in different ways are associated or affiliated with the International Religious Order of St Augustine; (OSA).
The 1st Augustinian Lay Congress was held in Rome in 1999, the 2nd in 2006 and the 3rd in July 2012. These meetings have been developing unity and communication between the many international lay groups along with close association with the Religious Order. They have been an excellent guide and vehicle helping us in growth as One Body.

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