The charisma of the order

The Province of Spoleto Valley was born soon after the formation of the Order of St. Augustine, which took place in Rome in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo in 1256, at the behest of Pope Alexander IV. The initials of the new Order are OESA (standing for Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine in English), later simplified into OSA.

Religious orders have in common the following of Jesus Christ with the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. However, each religious Order or Congregation has its own path to follow to be able to achieve them. The path travelled by the Augustinians is called "Charisma".

Augustinian charisma is present in the Rule:“The main purpose for you having come together is to live harmoniously in your house, intent upon God in oneness of mind and heart”(Rule 3). This principle was taken from the Acts of the Apostles (4: 32), where the way of life of the first apostolic community is described. All the rest of the Rule (prayer, penance, fraternal correction, the exercise of authority, obedience, etc.) must serve to achieve this unity of mind and heart in the quest for God, living as friends within the community.
The Augustinian community, therefore, is a small Church, mystery of unity and communion: unity of purpose and ideals, common life, respect for the dignity of the human person. This is the charisma of Augustinian monks and nuns.
Saint Rita, Augustinian nun, is to profess this Rule and try to live by it until death.

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