History of the Order of the Holy Cross

The Order of the Holy Cross is an ancient Order and a new community at the same time.

An ancient community from Portugal

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.


Restored by the Opus Angelorum with a special devotion to the holy Angels


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.


Presence of the ORC in the world:

The ORC is present in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, USA, India and the Philippines.