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Augustinian Monks of the Primitive Observance
You alone do I love, you alone do I follow, and you alone I seek. I am prepared to serve only you, because you alone govern justly, and I wish to be under your rule. I ask that only in your great mercy you convert me wholly to yourself and allow nothing to prevent me from coming to you. Grant that, while I live, I may be temperate, strong, just, and prudent, in love with your wisdom and capable of understanding, worthy of your blessed kingdom, and one day a dweller in that kingdom. (St. Augustine of Hippo).
At the moment St. Augustine and his close friend Alypius were converted, they resolved to leave all and follow Christ in the monastic life. “Then we went in to my mother and told her, to her great joy. We related how it had come about; she was filled with triumphant exultation, and praised you who are mighty beyond what we ask or conceive…. For you converted me to Yourself so that I no longer sought a wife nor any of this world's promises, but stood upon that same rule of faith in which You had shown me to her so many years before. Thus you changed her mourning into joy, a joy far richer than she had thought to wish, a joy much dearer and purer than she had thought to find in grandchildren of my flesh.” (Confessions, book 8, ch. 12) In fact, learning about the life that St. Antony the Abbot had embraced and how others had adopted his way of life was the catalyst that brought Augustine to the moment of his conversion. As yet there was no developed rule for monks in the west, and so Augustine, Alypius, and others were inspired to embrace monasticism, adapting it to the west. When St. Augustine was chosen to be the successor to the see of Hippo, the venerable Bishop Valerius gave him a garden for his monastery, and even after taking possession of his see Augustine lived as far as possible the monastic vocation. As bishop of Hippo he wrote the rule for monks and later the rule for nuns that have been handed down throughout the ages. His first biographer, Possidius, gives us an insight into the primitive Augustinian monastic life, and we also have the model of the Monastery at Gafsa. Under the guidance of the Abbot Liberatus, the Monastery with its seven monks bore witness to the way of life under the Rule of St. Augustine. These holy monks bore witness to Christ and the monastic life by the shedding of their blood as martyrs in 490 A.D.
We set before us this primitive observance and embrace as our own the Rule of St. Augustine. Our Father Augustine begins the Holy Rule with the statement, “Above all else, dear brothers, love God and then your neighbor, for the main purpose of our coming together in the monastery is to be one in mind and heart intent upon God.” The heart of our vocation is to give ourselves to God through the monastic way of life, being one in mind and heart with our fellow monks, under the care and guidance of an abbot, according to the teachings of St. Augustine of Hippo and the early Augustinian Monks
The Augustinian Monks of the Primitive Observance have recently relocated their monastery on January 3, 2004, from Peaks Island Maine to DeLand Florida. Deland is located in the central part of the State 24 miles from Daytona Beach and 45 minutes from downtown Orlando.
The Monks hope you will enjoy their site and come back often. The Brothers pray daily for all who visit their site.