The Order of the Holy Cross is an ancient Order and a new community at the same time. . .
The Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross was founded in Portugal in the year 1131 by Dom Tello and St. Theotonius . St. Theotonius, the first prior in the Order, is celebrated in the liturgy as the reformer of religious life in Portugal.
His feast day is on February 18. Eventually all canons regular in Portugal came to be united in the Order, which for centuries was a major center for liturgy, theology and the intellectual life in Portugal. It was due to the Marian spirituality of the Order that Portugal was the first nation to be consecrated to the Immaculate Conception in the 18th century. The Order sent missionaries to India, Africa and Latin America, but only established houses in Portugal. In 1834, when the civil government of Portugal became anti-Catholic the Order was violently suppressed.
The restoration of the Order was undertaken in 1977 by members of the spiritual movement called the Work of the Holy Angels (Opus Sanctorum Angelorum). In 1979 the Congregation for Religious under Pope John Paul II formalized by Decree the restoration of the Order.
Due to the remarkable correspondence between the legacy of the old Order and the spirituality of the Opus Angelorum, the Church granted the privilege to introduce into the Order a "special devotion to the holy angels according to the proven tradition of the Church."
The Order of the Holy Cross carries, therefore, within itself a great ancient heritage and tradition, but is at the same time a response to the signs of the time in our modern world.
Our Constitutions were approved by the Holy See in 2003. The Order of the Holy Cross is of pontifical right.
The Order of the Holy Cross(ORC) is present in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, USA, India and the Philippines.
The Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross (ORC) is a contemplative and active community. We live a life dedicated to the sacred liturgy, adoration, contemplation and ministry in communion with the holy Angels. The consecration to the holy Angels gives a special mark on our religious life. We are a community of priests and brothers.
The coat of arms of the Order shows the essential characteristics of our spirituality: The Cross, the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, with Mary and the holy Angels.
The ORC forms one spiritual family in the Opus Angelorum with the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Mission Helpers of the Holy Cross and the faithful who join the Opus Angelorum.
A Life of Adoration: The ORC forms one spiritual family in the Opus Angelorum with the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Mission Helpers of the Holy Cross and the faithful who join the Opus Angelorum.
Contemplation of God's mysteries: The Word of God is our fountain and strength: daily we ponder with the help of the holy Angels the mysteries of God and meditate it like Mary – for our community is entirely Marian.
Expiation for the sins of the world: Every week we accompany the Lord in His Passion: on Thursday evening and Friday afternoon, we join our prayers, sacrifices and fasting with His suffering, for the salvation of souls. We pray especially for the priests and religious.
Thus, we want to console Jesus like the Angel did and follow His invitation: “Come and watch with Me!” (cf. Mt 26:38)
Mission in communion with the angels: Like the holy Angel and together with them, we are sent by the Lord to serve in the work of salvation.
In our apostolate, we bring people closer to Christ also through linking them with their holy Angels. We promote the devotion to the holy Angels and the spirituality of the Opus Angelorum (Work of the Holy Angels), usually by means of talks at days of recollection and retreats.
Our great concern is the help for the priests. In Brazil, we have an Institute for the formation of seminarians. We assist priests and religious who need spiritual help.
In the Order of the Holy Cross, we work also in parishes and assume different ministries according to the needs of the local Church.
We are flexible in our tasks and missions like the Angels and are ready to be sent anywhere where God wants us to serve Him and the community needs us.
You are welcome to Contact us!
In our formation program, the spiritual formation (prayer and spirituality) takes an important role, besides the human, intellectual and pastoral formation.
In the Philippines, we have several months of aspirancy, followed by at least one year of postulancy. During this time we get to know Our Lord Jesus especially through Eucharistic adoration, contemplation and the Passio Domini. We also get to know ourselves in community life.
St. Raphael's Priory, situated in the beautiful nature of Zambales, offers good condition for a vocation to grow in silence and prayer, work and community life.
The novitiate is in Brazil, together with novices from other countries, and lasts one year. The philosophical and theological studies are at our seminary in Brazil.
“Love for the Cross, Eucharistic, Entirely Marian, in union with the holy Angels”
“Follow Me!” remains the most exiting invitation of God, and maybe you hear it in your heart. Now it is up to you to stand up and say: “Here I am!”
We would be happy to assist you in your vocation discernment by discovering the will of God in your life. If you are a man between 18-35 years of age and living an active Christian life in the Catholic Church, hearing a call from God to surrender yourself totally to His service, the Brothers of the Holy Cross want to help you to realize the dream of God for you. We believe that God has a place and a work for you in the Catholic Church, and the holy Angels will guide you to its fulfillment.
The journey in our Order with your brothers and your holy Angel is through the guest period (aspirancy), postulancy and novitiate to the goal of a total dedication to God in the profession of the evangelical counsels. In our formation program, the spiritual formation (prayer and spirituality) takes an important role.
When God calls you to our Order through His providence you can contact us. We will help you firstly to know our spirituality, because only the spirituality will you make feel at home with us. At a certain time we invite you to visit our formation house and spend a period of discernment to know the will of God.
Once you are admitted to our formation house, after your initial visit, we will assist you to know more yourself and to deepen your knowledge about our Lord Jesus especially through Eucharistic adoration, contemplation and the Passio Domini. During this time you will be asked to participate in our daily communal activities to experience our life as religious. The time frames for this phase of formation are handled flexibly.
Here in the Philippines, we have several months of aspirancy followed by at least one year of postulancy. Our formation house (St. Raphael’s Priory) is situated in the beautiful nature of Candelaria, Zambales where we offer a good place for a vocation to grow in silence and prayer, work and community life.
In this time we will assist you to deepen your understanding about the Christian life and doctrine. You will be trained also to integrate yourself into the community, to observe silence, to pray and to detach yourself from the world. This is an important period to know yourself better and to work on your character.
The life in the Order begins with the novitiate. Together with your religious brothers you will come to a better understanding of your vocation to the Order, experience its manner of life, and form your mind and heart according the Order’s spiritualty.
At the end of the novitiate you can ask God and the Order for the great gift of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.
Living your life as religious in fidelity to the gift of God will be your joy during your whole life. You can live in the Order as religious Brother, as Priest or as Helper. If God calls you still to priestly vocation, the philosophical and theological studies are in our seminary in Brazil.
Vocation is a calling, an attraction that God places into the heart of a young person: a desire to serve God, a preoccupation for the salvation of souls.
"The experience of this gracious love of God is so deep and so powerful that the person called senses the need to respond by unconditionally dedicating his or her life to God, consecrating to Him all things present and future, and placing them in His hands." (St. John Paul II, VC 17)
In this, the Lord doesn’t consider so much the talents or weaknesses of a person, but He chooses freely whom He wants.
In religious life, we consecrate ourselves to God. Through a life of the evangelical counsels chastity, poverty and obedience, we follow Jesus more closely. Consecrated people "strive to become one with Him, taking on His mind and his way of life. This leaving of everything and following the Lord (cf. Lk 18:28) is a worthy program of life for all whom he calls, in every age" (St. John Paul II, VC 18)
"If you hear the Lord's call, do not reject it! Dare to become part of the great movements of holiness which renowned saints have launched in their following of Christ.
Cultivate the ideals proper to your age, but readily accept God's plan for you if he invites you to seek holiness in the consecrated life.
Admire all God's works in the world, but be ready to fix your eyes on the things destined never to pass away.
The Third Millennium awaits the contribution of the faith and creativity of great numbers of young consecrated persons, that the world may be made more peaceful and able to welcome God and, in him, all his sons and daughters." (St. John Paul II; VC 106)
"Give thanks to the Lord if he has called one of your children to the consecrated life.
It is to be considered a great honour — as it always has been — that the Lord should look upon a family and choose to invite one of its members to set out on the path of the evangelical counsels!
Cherish the desire to give the Lord one of your children so that God's love can spread in the world. What fruit of conjugal love could be more beautiful than this?
I pray that you, Christian families, united with the Lord through prayer and the sacramental life, will create homes where vocations are welcomed." (St. John Paul II; VC 107)