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In Saint Rita's days, the Monastery was dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. The old part dates back to the end of the 13th century. It was enlarged in the first half of the 18th century with the generous donations of John V, King of Portugal, healed of cancer of the eye through intercession of the saint. The last expansion took place in recent decades with the construction of the Sanctuary.

The cloistered Monastery is the historical place where Saint Rita lived for 40 years as an Augustinian nun and where she died in 1457, at the age of 76. Today, the Monastery is alive more than ever, where the Augustinian monastic community comprising about 40 nuns, expresses its life of prayer and consecration to God, including through constant and daily service to others.