On page 57 of the first volume of his Bullarium Ordinis Augustinianorum Recollectorum, Fr. Jenaro Fernández (1909-1972) declares without hesitation “that the date of the the Fifth Definition (our birth certificate) of the Chapter of Toledo of the Augustinian Order which is 5 December 1588 must be considered as the foundation of Recollection of Saint Augustine.” The present OAR Constitutions No. 6 reiterates the well known Fifth Definition: “Since there are—or may be in the future—some brothers among us so desirous of monastic perfection that they would want to follow a more austere plan of life, and whose legitimate desires is to be furthered so that no obstacles be placed in the path of the work of the Hoy Spirit... we determine that in our Province three or more monasteries of men should be designated or established... in which a stricter form of life may be practiced.”
A kindred spirit, Fr. Eugenio Ayape, prior general in 1950-1962, picked up the recommendation and officially sanctioned it in the Ratio Institutionis praesertim studiorum OAR, published in September 1958. The post-Vatican II 1975 OAR Constitutions No. 335 enacted a constitutional mandate to celebrate every Fifth of December as the Anniversary of the Augustinian Recollection. The Ritual of the Order of Augustinian Recollects (pp. 103-107), published in Madrid in 1985, proposed patterns for the Eucharistic Celebration and Liturgy of the Hours as well as texts for the renewal of vows. The 1975 constitutional provision found echo in no. 97 of both OAR Constitutions of 1985 and Augustinian Recollects. The Rule, Constitutions, Additional Code of 2012: “The fifth of December, the anniversary of the Recollection, is to be celebrated with solemnity. Special intercession is to be made for the santification of the brothers, and the vows are to be renewed in common. In the formation houses, some academic event reflecting the significance of the day is to be organised.”
Jenaro FERNÁNDEZ OAR, Bullarium Ordinis Augustinianorum Recollectorum I. Roma 1955.
Ratio Institutionis praesertim studiorum O.A.R., 15 Sept. 1958, in Acta Ordinis Augustinianorum Recollectorum VI, 1960, pp. 1-80.
Constituciones de la Order de Augustinos Recoletos, Roma 1975.
Ritual de la Orden de Agustinos Recoletos. Madrid 1985.
Ángel MARTÍNEZ CUESTA. Dies natalis Ordinis, Primera parte de 1a conferencia sobre San Ezequiel Moreno, fraile agustino recoleto. Curia Generalizia, Roma 5 diciembre 2005.
AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECTS. The Rule. Constitutions. Additional Code. Rome 2012.