HISTORICAL NOTES ON THE INSTITUTES THAT MAKE UP THE FAMILY
The Order of the Most Holy Trinity
The Order was founded by Saint John of Matha, with the collaboration – according to tradition – of Saint Felix of Valois. It is an Order with its own proper Rule, approved by Pope Innocent III. The Bull of pontifical approval is dated December 17, 1198. The Order was reformed by Saint John Baptist of the Conception in 1559, with the approval of Pope Clement VIII.
Its religious, priests and brothers, consecrated under a special title to the Trinity, are involved in the ministry of redemption and mercy on behalf of those persecuted for their faith, the oppressed and the poor.
The Order consists of 54 communities in Europe, 22 in the United States, 21 in Latin America, 10 in Madagascar, 2 in India and 2 in Africa.
Trinitarian Contemplative Nuns
The first Trinitarian nuns were the two daughters of King Peter II of Aragon (Spain): Doña Constance, who died with the fame of sanctity, and Doña Sancha. Both women had inherited their father’s respect for Saint John of Matha, and wanted to help him, not only with prayers and material contributions, but also by consecrating themselves to the Most Holy Trinity. Their first monastery was that of Our Lady of the Angels in the diocese of Lerida, Spain. After founding many monasteries in Spain, they spread to Portugal, France, Italy, Peru and Chile. In our own days, they have reached Madagascar and Ecuador.
The Trinitarian nuns are a religious institute of totally contemplative life. Consecrated to the Most Holy Trinity, and with their own redemptive mission within the Church, they live in silence and solitude, in assiduous prayer and generous penance. They have 16 monasteries in Spain; 1 in Lima, Peru; 1 in Chile; 1 in Guayaquil; and 1 in Madagascar.
Trinitarian Sisters of Valence
This congregation was founded by Joan Adrian and a group of young women affiliated to the Confraternity of the Trinitarian Fathers in Lyons, France. Their purpose was the glorification of the Trinity and dedication to the works of redemption. They directed themselves to work with poor young women and the sick. When redeemed captives were brought back from Africa, they were cared for in their hospital at Valence.
The religious sisters live a life of prayer and community modeled on the Three Divine Persons. Their present apostolate is dedicated to Christian education, the care for the poor, the sick, missions and pastoral ministry.
Their 58 communities are located in Europe, Africa, Madagascar, South Korea, Canada and Latin-America.
Trinitarian Sisters of Seville
The religious sisters of the devout house of the Most Holy Trinity in Seville (Spain) were founded on February 2, 1719, by Mother Elizabeth Rita Morena of the Most Holy Trinity, under the auspices of Trinitarian Father Joseé Chacón. The purpose they intended was to render special glory to the Most Holy Trinity and to dedicate themselves to care for children who were poor, orphaned or abandoned.
The congregation is of diocesan jurisdiction, and they have been affiliated to the Order since its restoration in Spain. Today they have two houses, in which they are devoted to the education and care of orphaned girls.
Trinitarian Sisters of Rome
This congregation of Trinitarian Sisters was founded by Mother Maria Teresa of the Most Holy Trinity and Mother Felix of the Holy Spirit, as co-foundress, on September 8, 1762. The Mather Foundress and the first sisters were members of the Trinitarian Third Order at the Church of San Carlino in Rome.
They adopted the Trinitarian Rule and made the purpose of their congregation the glorification of the Most Holy Trinity, the promotion of devotion to it, and - motivated by redemptive charity – the education of infants and young girls, especially the poorest and most needy. Today they are also working in the missions, parish ministry and charitable works.
They have 35 communities and are present in Italy, the United States, Madagascar and the Philippine Islands.
Trinitarian Sisters of Mallorca
This congregation of Trinitarian Sisters of Mallorca, Spain, was founded on August 7, 1809, by Trinitarian Father Michael Ferrer. He gave them a Rule based on that of the Trinitarian Fathers. The first Sisters had been members of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity of Felantix (Mallorca).
Their charism is that of special consecration to the Trinity, the fount and source of all redemptive love, prayer of praise, work to support themselves and a commitment to the works of mercy. With these characteristic traits, they are dedicated to teaching, care of the sick, and help in parishes and neighborhoods.
They have 21 communities and are present in Spain, Peru and Bolivia.
Trinitarian Sisters of Madrid
This institute of Trinitarian Sisters was founded in Madrid on February 2, 1885 by cathedral Canon Francisco de Asís Méndez Casariego and Mariana Allsop of the Most Holy Trinity, the co-founder and primary collaborator. The Institute was aggregated to the Order of the Most Holy Trinity on April 20, 1904, and shares its spirit of mercy and redemption.
Its specific work is that of seeking, welcoming, forming and evangelizing young women who are experiencing dangerous or difficult circumstances in life. They do this by keeping their door continually open to women who need help and shelter. They are involved in various undertakings based on this orientation: shelters, hostels, guest houses, professional training schools and rehabilitation centers. They are also present in prisons and transportation centers.
They have 30 communities, and are located in Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay and Rome.
Trinitarian Sisters of Valencia
This Congregation was founded by Rosa Cuñat, Tomasa Balbastro, Salvadora Cuñat, Ana Maria Gimeno and Rosa Campos. Under spiritual direction by the priest Don Juan de la Concepción Calvo, they committed themselves to live in community and dedicated themselves to the education and care of abandoned children.
They adopted the Constitutions of the Italian Trinitarian Sisters and were aggregated to the Trinitarian Order in 1882. On November 4, 1885, they were recognized and approved by the Church.
The spirituality of the Institute flows from the Rule of Saint John of Matha as the guiding principle for their whole mission. Devotion to the Most Holy Trinity and the liberation of men and women from the many forms of modern captivity constitute their charism. They took up the mission of evangelizing the poor, dedicating themselves to the education of boys and girls, without excluding other forms of attending to the poor.
They have 38 communities and are present in Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Austria and Madagascar.
Secular Institute: “Oblates of the Most Holy Trinity”
This Institute was established on June 9, 1960, in the church of St. Thomas in Formis. It was founded by Trinitarian Father Luigi Cianfriglia. The Oblates of the Most Holy Trinity live and work in the manner proper to secular institutes. They bear witness to the presence of consecrated lay life within the Trinitarian Family and are reminders of its importance for the whole Church.
They strive for evangelical perfection in the midst of the world as witnesses to the Trinity, and they are dedicated to working for the sanctification of priests and religious, and for the renewal of families in the image of the Trinity. They collaborate with the Trinitarian Order in the apostolate of redemption.
The Vicariate of Rome approved their statutes April 20, 1994.
At present, there are members of the Institute in Italy and Madagascar. With the approval of the Vicariate of Rome, they have a house there as their headquarters, but no other is required either by Canon Law or by their Statutes.
The Hermit Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity
These hermit sisters came together as a community on May 29, 1988, the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, at the Hermitage of the Virgin of Faith in Guayaquil, Ecuador. They are under the diocesan bishop and have their own proper legislation. Their founder is Mother Maria Amalia of the Most Holy Trinity.
They are consecrated to the Trinity, drawing their inspiration from the early wilderness experience of Saint Felix of Valois and Saint John of Matha at Cerfroid, France
They follow a completely contemplative life, and from within it they are especially attentive to welcoming anyone who is having a crisis of faith as well as bearing witness through works of mercy.
At present, they have one hermitage in Guayaquil, Ecuador.