Recoletos Presence in Rome: its history, present, future

Via Sistina, ROME – For several decades, the current Collegio Internazionale Sant’Ildefonso e San Tommaso da Villanueva was the General Curia of the Order of Augustinian Recollects. At the moment it is the residence of the community of Augustinian Recollect religious who pursue further studies in Rome. This year 2019, it celebrates its 400th year. The main event took place last Sunday, April 7.

Like the great majority of the buildings in Rome, the edifice of the Recoletos friars located in downtown Via Sistina has witnessed the course of history. Although its simple façade cannot seem to show it, the aforementioned Collegio celebrates its Fourth Centenary. It was in 1619 when, with the approval of Pope Paul V, the residence of the Procurator General of the erstwhile Congregation of the Augustinian Recollects was established in this place, around 30 years after the Provincial Chapter of Castile in 1588.

In 1930, the so-called community of Sistina became the General Curia of the Order of Augustinian Recollects. From then until 1959, it housed the general government of the Order that had been approved in 1912 by St. Pius X, as well as the residence for the Augustinian Recollect students who would come to Rome to do their specializations.

Between Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Barberini, the small Church of San Ildefonso and Santo Tomás de Villanueva remains unnoticed. It is the external face of this piece of history of the Augustinian Recollects in Rome and that keeps, among other jewels, the first image of the Virgin of Guadalupe that arrived in the Eternal City, or the spectacular marble altarpiece of the adoration of the shepherds of the Baroque sculptor Franco Siciliano.

For the Augustinian Recollect Fray Tomás Ortega, a student of this house for several years, “the chapel as a whole has a lot of artistic value, there are great details.” He explains that in its beginnings the church was dedicated to the Virgin of Copacabana, whose image presided over the altar until it was replaced by the painting of San Ildefonso and Santo Tomás de Villanueva.

Celebration of the 400th anniversary

On its 400th anniversary, the small church of the Augustinian Recollects in Rome is recovering all its splendor. The main celebration of this event took place last Sunday, April 7, with the dedication of the new marble altar. Bp. Giuseppe Sciacca, Secretary of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, presided over the Eucharist. The Prior General of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Fray Miguel Miró, was present as well as some of the Priors Provincial. In addition, the church will soon host the original painting of the Augustinian Recollect Martyrs of Japan (Pedro, Agustín, and Lorenzo).

The student friars praying the Lauds

The presence of the Provincial Superiors in this historic event symbolized the interculturality of the community that currently consists of young religious from the four provinces of the Order of Augustinian Recollects and who carry out their specialized studies in Rome. “We are ten young Augustinian Recollects from many countries and to whom the Order has given the opportunity to be here to study,” says Fray Bruno D’Andrea, OAR.

A “key” community for the Augustinian Recollects

Fray Pablo Panedas, OAR has lived in this community twice. For him, the house in Via Sistina is a “key” because “in this house those who will be formators of the religious are formed” and for its history. And to live in this community is unique. For Fray Javier Monroy, Prior of the community and a General Councilor, being in this Collegio “signifies pride because you are in a legendary place.”

 The library where the marble image of St. Thomas of Villanueva stands

During its 400 years, the historic community has witnessed transcendental events such as the one in 1809, when the Napoleonic troops who had occupied Rome expelled the Augustinian Recollects from the house and the annexed church. The period had lasted for five years, until 1814, when they regained the community, thanks to the intervention of King Charles IV of Spain and the Spanish ambassador to Rome, since the Hospice was under the protection of the Crown. From 1942 to 1949, the house was without tenants as a result of the Second World War.

rome

Agustinos Recoletos

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< 2019 >
April 28 - May 04
  • 28

    All day
    April 28, 2019

    DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Maria Lirio Guillermo, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2001-2019)
    Fray Rey Tripulca
    Fray Feliciano Campomanes
    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Henry Santiago
    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Fray Jonathan Jamero
    Fray Russell Lapidez
    Fray Abraham Latoza
    Fray Virgilio Paredes
    Fray Gideon Antolin Lagrimas
    (2012-2018)
    Fray Mark Saludes
    Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo

  • 29

    All day
    April 29, 2019

    ARSE – BATCH 1
    Inclusive Dates: April 29 – May 3, 2019
    Venue: Talavera House of Prayer, Cebu City

    24th RECOLLECT CAMPUS MINISTRY SUMMER INSTITUTE
    Inclusive dates: April 29- May 3, 2019 / SSC-R Cavite

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Edgardo Juanich, D.D. (Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay, Palawan)
    Fray Hector Gonzales
    Sr. Rebecca Adarayan, AR
    Sr. Zosima Tambanillo, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1989-2019)
    Fray Emilio Jaruda, Jr.
    (1995-2019)
    Fray Urbano Galanido
    Fray Jose Jaazeal Jakosalem
    Fray Mark Rochelle Renacia
    Fray Renie Villalino
    (2006-2019)
    Fray Persiuz Joseph Decena

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION (1986-2019)
    Most Rev. Gerardo Alminaza, D.D. (Diocese of San Carlos, Negros Occ.)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Pilar de San Jose

  • 30

    All day
    April 30, 2019

    MEETING OF THE REVITALIZATION TEAM (ERO) IN ROME
    Inclusive dates: April 30-May 4, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Mavieve Joy Bernaldez, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1988-2019)
    Fray Paulino Romel Dacanay
    Fray Ronel Gealon
    (1993-2019)
    Fray Jose Ernil Almayo
    Fray Joel Alve
    Fray Randolph Castulo Castillo, Jr.
    Fray Charlito Orobia
    (2000-2019)
    Fray Vincent Cadeliña
    Fray Radni Caparas
    Fray Joseph Dexter Palagtiosa
    (2005-2019)
    Fray Michael Catama
    Fray William Cordero
    Fray Kenneth Joseph Onda
    Fray James Dexter Tanquis
    (2011-2019)
    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Fray Rafael Pecson
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray John Paul Tanquis
    Fray Jayferson Baldelovar
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Fray John Zachary Haguisan
    Fray Lounal Jarumay
    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Fray Nelson Plohimon

  • 01

    All day
    May 1, 2019
    Feast of St. Joseph the Worker / LABOR DAY
    *DAY OF THE RELIGIOUS BROTHERS
    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2010-2019)
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado
  • 02

    All day
    May 2, 2019
    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2009-2019)
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo
    Fray Hector Gonzales
    Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos
    Fray Alexus Mansueto
    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan
    Fray Jess Marco Sanchez
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Margarita Ponce, AR
  • 03

    All day
    May 3, 2019
    CLOSING OF THE MEETING OF VOCATION PROMOTERS OF THE  ORDER IN COSTA RICA
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Invenzor Melgazo
    Sr. Myrna Gimena, AR
    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Felicitas Lucinario, AR
  • 04

    All day
    May 4, 2019
    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)
    ADMISSION TO THE MINISTRY OF LECTORATE (6 coristas) AND ACOLYTATE (10 coristas)
    Recoletos Formation Center
    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1991-2019)
    Fray Sixto Bitangjol
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.
    (2008-2019)
    Fray Jose Teodulfo Jadulco
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao

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