History of the Religious Order

For a long time, the Canons Regular of St. Augustine's Order were not united in a religious order but lived according to various rules strongly influenced by the region. The history of the religious order of the Canons Regular starts with the communities of priests in the 5th century. Those of St. Augustine's Order might have been the most prominent one.

The rule and the paradigm of that community built the basis of the great clergy reform during the 11th and 12th century. The popes' concern was to trace the Canons back to a life in community, to advise them on abdication of personal belongings and to direct them to do penance like the monks. The final impulse to the reform of the Canons emanated from the Lateran Synod (1059-1061) chaired by pope Nikolaus II. in April, 1059. Rules were issued emphasizing the importance of the "vita comunis" and individual poverty. Thus meaning the legal separation of Canons Regular and Canons Secular. The main tasks have been and still are:
Pastoral care on a broad basis
- Solemn liturgy
- Support of sick persons and pilgrims
- Reform centres for the clergy
  etc. The religious order spread particularly over Italy, France, and in the German-speaking countries. The last heyday dates back to the 17th and 18th century. Many of the monasteries were badly affected by the secular movement, meaning the separation of church and state. The vocation of the Canons Regular (i.e. priests living according to a rule) can be attributed to the two great ecclesiastic traditions: on the one hand to the life in devotions and in community of the well-known contemplative orders like the Benedictines, the Cistercians, etc. and on the other hand to the lifestyle in a diocese's pastoral service. The Constitutions of the Austrian Congregation of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine's Order therefore express: "The Canons Regular of St. Augustine's Order are a religious order within the church and, therefore, bound to the primacy of spiritual life, however, they constitute a priests' community established for the service in God's people. In 1907, the Austrian Congregation of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine's Order has been founded. The following monasteries are incorporated:
Monastery of St. Florian

Monastery of Herzogenburg
, situated in Lower Austria, diocese of St. Pölten.
In 1112 founded by Bishop Ulrich of Passau at St. Georgen/Danube, based at Herzogenburg since 1244. A – 3130 Herzogenburg, Stiftsgasse 3
Tel.: 02782 / 83 112 – 0
Fax: 02782 / 83 112 – 28
E-mail: stift@herzogenburg.at<//link>
Web: www.herzogenburg.at/stift<//link&gt;
Monastery of Klosterneuburg
, situated in Lower Austria, archdiocese of Vienna. In 1114 founded by the saint margrave Leopold III, abolished in 1941, re-established in 1945. A – 3400 Klosterneuburg, Stiftsplatz 1
Tel.: 02243 / 411 – 0
Fax: 02243 / 411 – 322
E-mail: praelatur@stift-klosterneuburg.at<//link>
Web: www.stift-klosterneuburg.at<//link&gt;
Monastery of Neustift/Nova Cella
, situated in South Tyrol/Italy, diocese of Bozen-Brixen/Bolzena-Bressanone.
In 1142 founded by the blessed Bishop Hartman of Bressanone and Rembert of Saeben, abolished in 1807 and re-established in 1816. I – 39040 Vahrn
Tel: 0039 / 0472 / 83 61 89
Fax: 0039 / 0472 / 83 73 05
E-mail: Info@kloster-neustift.it<//link>
Web: www.kloster-neustift.it<//link&gt;
Monastery of Reichersberg, situated in Upper Austria, diocese of Linz.
In 1084 founded by the nobleman Wernher of Reichersberg. A – 4981 Reichersberg 1
Tel.: 07758 / 2313 – 0
Fax: 07758 / 2313 – 32
E-mail: office@stift-reichersberg.at<//link>
Web: www.stift-reichersberg.at<//link&gt;
Monastery of Vorau
, situated in Styria, diocese of Graz-Seckau.
In 1163 founded by margrave Otakar III, confiscated in 1940 and re-established in 1945. A – 8250 Vorau 1
Tel.: 03337 – 2351 – 0
Fax.: 03337 – 2351 – 29
E-mail: verwaltung@stift-vorau.at<//link>
Web: www.stift-vorau.at<//link&gt; The Confederation founded in 1959 incorporates the 9 congregations.
If you like to know more on this subject, please refer to www.augustiner-chorherren.org<//link&gt;
Austrian Congregation
Congregation of the Great St. Bernhard (Switzerland)
Congregation of St-Maurice (Switzerland)
Windesheimer Congregation (Germany)
Congregation of the Redeemer's Mother (France)
Congregation of the Immaculate Conception (Italy)
Congregation of the Brother of Vita Comunis (Germany)
Congregation of St-Vincent (France)

In Austria, there is also a monastery of female Canons Regular:
The Monastery of Goldenstein, situated near Salzburg, archdiocese of Salzburg. In 1767 founded by the noblewoman Maria Viktoria at Rastatt/Baden. In 1877 abolished by the state and relocated to Goldenstein. A – 5061 Elsbethen-Glasenbach
Tel.: 0662 / 62 34 21
Fax: 0662 / 62 34 21 – 7