We are an “Augustinian” Community, of canonical life.
An “Augustinian” Community, because we follow Saint Augustine’s Rule (354-430), Bishop of Hippo in present-day Tunisia and founder of a new form of consecrated life, whose members could be called “monks in the city,” unlike the first monasticism which was lived in the desert (Pacôme, Antoine).
This Rule begins as follows: "Above all, live harmoniously, having but one heart and one soul intent upon God." For Augustine, it was a question of reproducing the ideal of the first community of Jerusalem, “assiduous in accepting the teaching of the Apostles, in common prayer, in celebrating the Eucharist and in prayers” according to Acts of the Apostles.
Canonical life (from canon: rule) is thus a type of religious life initiated by St. Augustine, which shows the Church’s mystery as the Body of Christ... It includes monastic traditions, such as a common life, the effective gathering of members of the Community for prayer, meals, work and fraternal exchanges, in a monastery.
The monastery is a place of silence, of retreat from the world, an atmosphere favorable to searching for God, to the liturgical life, to life in common and to a simple style of life.
Canonical life also includes an apostolic service: for us Augustinians it means Mercy shared with all, but especially the sick in whom we see the person of Jesus: “Whatever you did to the least of these, you did to Me.” In addition to the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, we make a fourth - to serve the poor and the sick with mercy.
Initially, Sisters made only the vow of mercy. Keystone of the three other vows, this one is fundamental.