Catholic Outlook

Monastic Order of St Paul the First

Catholic Outlook August 2011 Vocations Feature Pauline Fathers

The Monastic Order of St Paul the First Hermit was founded in 1215 in Hungary. The founder was Blessed Eusebius. It was through his efforts that the saintly hermits of Hungary were united in monasteries under the patronage of St Paul the First Hermit, who lived the solitary life some 870 years earlier.

A highlight in the Order’s history took place in 1382 when they became the custodians of the miraculous Icon of Our Lady (known as The Black Madonna). The Duke of Opole, Ladislaus, entrusted the venerable icon to monks who came from Hungary, and they established a shrine in the small town of Czestochowa in Poland.

Through the centuries the Order spread throughout the world, and on 24 April 1981 the first of the Pauline Fathers, Fr Augustyn Jozef Lazur OSPPE, arrived in Australia to establish a Shrine for Our Lady.

The Motherhouse of the Australian Province is situated at Penrose Park in the Southern Highlands. The Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy – Penrose Park, including its many international chapels, offers to individuals and groups of pilgrims a peaceful setting to reflect prayerfully on the salvific role of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and on the role of Mary, Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and the Church.

In Australia, by the request of pilgrims, the Order extended by establishing a second Shrine, with similar attributes, at Marian Valley, Canungra, Qld. We also take pastoral care of parishes in Moss Vale and Smithfield, and Dromana and Rosebud in Victoria.

The Pauline Fathers are a semi-contemplative community with the charism combined of the spirituality of the Fathers of the Desert and Marian spirituality – where imitation of the life of Mary and the promotion of her true devotion is of primary importance.