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Order of Saint Augustine

History of the Order of Saint Augustine

The Order of St Augustine (Augustinians) has a history that goes back to Europe in the thirteenth century.

In northern Italy in 1244 several communities of hermits living in the region of Tuscany asked Pope Innocent IV to unite them under one common Rule of life and one Superior General like other Orders that had recently been founded. The Pope gave them the Rule of Saint Augustine and asked representatives of each of their houses, gathered in chapter, to elect a Prior General who would be the sign and principal promoter of their desired unity. Not many years later in 1256, other similar groups of hermits, scattered mostly throughout central Italy and in a number of other nations, were all gathered with the friars of 1244 at what became described as the Grand Union of the Order (1256). The strong eremitical (“hermit”) background which characterized the early groups gradually began to give way to a mixed life of contemplation and pastoral ministry as the Church called the Order to form part of the Mendicant Movement and engage in the work of evangelization.

Monastery of Lecceto

The monastery at Lecceto in Tuscany, still a centre of Augustinian spirituality.


Within a century of the Grand Union there were possibly 6,000 Augustinian friars established in many countries, involved in a variety of works, as pastors, preachers, educators, scholars, theologians and missionaries – all for the proclamation of the Gospel, – as well as others engaged as carpenters, farmers, beggars and bakers, for the internal needs of the communities. All of them professed one and the same way of life according to the ideals and values upon which Saint Augustine had ordered his vision of religious community. Early in its history groups of women religious were aggregated to the Order as well, and many lay men and women shared the Order’s spirituality and liturgical customs as members of Augustinian lay fraternities.

During periods of great missionary effort in the Church, Augustinians were counted among other religious of various Orders and Congregations who ventured into foreign lands to extend the message of the Gospel and to lay the foundations for religious life. They ventured throughout Europe, as well as to North and South America, Africa, Japan, Persia, India, and China. Augustinians were among the founding fathers of the first university of the New World (in Mexico in 1553), and were the first evangelizers of the Philippine Islands. Presently, members of the Order live and minister in over 40 countries on every continent, preaching the Gospel in a wide variety of ways…



Augustinians Around the World

Augustinians are present in more than 47 countries and on five continents. With the extended family of all those who commit themselves to living the spirit of Augustine, we are present in almost every country on earth. See list of countries below.


Tanzania, Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Equatorial Guinea and Algeria.

Canada, United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Porto Rico, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. We also have a non-governmental representation at the UN headquarters.

Indonesia, India, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Australia and Japan.

Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Ireland, Malta, Poland and Austria.

Augustinian presence by Circumscriptions:


  • Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus – Philippines
  • Province of Santo Niño de Cebu – Philippines

South Korea





United States of America

  • Province of St. Thomas of Villanova – Philadelphia
  • Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel – Midwest Augustinians
  • Province of St. Augustine in California


  • Province of the Our Mother of Good Counsel – Australasia

Asia Pacific Augustinian Conference (APAC)

Asia Pacific Augustinian Conference (APAC) is a voluntary association open to all Augustinian congregations following the Rule of Saint Augustine in the Asia Pacific area, established to strengthen ties of the Augustinian families and to provide assistance and enhance collaboration among the members in areas or initiatives of common interest to all.

The member congregations are Order of Saint Augustine (OSA) Cebu, OSA Vicariate, OSA Japan, OSA Australia, OSA Papua Indonesia, OSA Korea, OSA India, OSA Nuns, Order of Augustinian Recollect, Augustinians of the Assumptions, Order of Augustinian Discalced, Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation, Augustinian Recollect Sisters, Augustinian Missionaries of the Philippines, Missionary Servants of the Holy Trinity, the Augustinian Sisters of Divine Love, and Augustinian Sisters Servants of Jesus and Mary. Where possible the broader Augustinian family in Asia Pacific undertakes programs of mutual collaboration such as joint Formation programs, courses and conventions on Augustinian Spirituality, Apostolates and Social Justice.

Fr. Andres Rivera Jr., OSA, Prior Provincial of the Province of Santo Niño de Cebu – Philippines, is the present chair of APAC who was elected on October 16, 2021. He replaced Sr. Niceta Vargas, OSA, who was president from 2017-2021. 

Order of Saint Augustine in Asia and the Pacific (OSAAP)

OSAAP, which stands for the Order of Saint Augustine in the Asia Pacific, represents a union of the seven Augustinian circumscriptions situated in the Asian and Oceanian regions. These seven divisions consist of the Province of Santo Niño de Cebu – Philippines, Province of Australasia, Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in the Philippines, the Vicariate of India, Vicariate of Japan, and Vicariate of West Papua (Indonesia), as well as the Delegation of Korea. This association serves as a manifestation of the Augustinian presence in this part of the world, fostering collaborative efforts on shared initiatives.

Among these projects are the Asia Pacific Augustinian Novitiate headquartered in Talisay, Cebu, as well as regional programs for renewal and gatherings catering to specific interest groups such as formators, vocations directors, and younger Augustinians engaged in ministry.

The first batch of novices who arrived at the Augustinian Novitiate and Prayer House in 2016 were 21 brothers who came from the Province of Santo Niño de Cebu – Philippines, Province of the Most Holy of the Philippines, Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel (Australasia), and Vicariate of India.

On July 8, 2023, another set of novices arrived in Talisay and was later joined by two more novices on July 28, 2023, bringing 11 novices.


Additionally, there is an ongoing exploration of potential joint missions in the future.

The leaders of the Asia Pacific divisions convene regularly to deliberate on these matters of mutual concern. Equally significant are the various opportunities that arise for members of these divisions to come together and connect with each other.

APAN First Batch

First batch of novices of Asia Pacific Augustinian Novitiate of OSAAP together with their formators. 

11 new novices of APAN together with their formators. The novices from India arrived a few days later.