Welcome to Monasterio de La Vid

The Monastery of Santa María de La Vid dates back to the 12th century when the Premonstratensian community received royal support for the construction of a monastery.

Around the year 1140, Sancho Ansúrez and Domingo Gómez de Campdespina, two Castilian nobles who had professed in the French abbey of Saint Martin of Laon, returned to Castile where they founded the first two Premonstratensian abbeys in Spain.

Sancho Ansúrez, with the effective help of his powerful family, founded the monastery of Santa María de Retuerta, and Domingo Gómez de Campdespina founded that of Santa María de Monte Sacro, located on the right bank of the Duero about two kilometers from the current site of the monastery.

A few years later, in 1152, Alfonso VII confirmed to the Church of Santa María de Monte Sacro, its abbot Domingo, and his successors the ownership of “that place called Vide,” under the condition that “there, under the rule of Saint Augustine, you establish an abbey.” The construction of the original abbey lasted six or seven years, according to some of the Premonstratensian chronicles preserved in the monastery’s archive, suggesting that by around 1160 the Monte Sacro community had already settled in the new Vitense monastery.

“Pray as if everything depended on God. Work as if everything depended on you.” (Saint Augustine)

The original monastery, built according to the Romanesque canons, benefited from the protection of the Castilian monarchs Alfonso VII, Alfonso VIII, and their immediate successors from its foundation. In 1288, Sancho IV granted the Premonstratensian community the necessary means to renew and expand the monastery, adapting the initial constructions to the needs of the abbey, which by then depended on fifteen others and already possessed a significant territorial estate. The medieval centuries saw a transition from Romanesque to Gothic architecture; the abbots extended their power beyond the monastery walls, becoming true feudal lords, spiritual and temporal rulers of the canons and their vassals.

With the arrival of the 16th century, another chapter in the history of the monastery began. Don Íñigo López de Mendoza, a member of the Countly family of Miranda, managed to obtain the appointment of commendatory abbot from the Pope in 1516. His desire to turn the abbey into the family pantheon led him to plan and execute profound changes in the monastic building. A new cloister was then erected, replacing the previous Romanesque one, and the current church was constructed. Additionally, Don Íñigo was concerned with the religious reform of the Vitense canons, abolishing the perpetuity in the government of the abbots, who from then on were elected for three-year terms.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the monastery was completed to acquire the proportions it retains today. Over those two hundred years, new cloisters, three sections of the church, the choir, the refectory, and, finally, in 1798, the impressive library were constructed. Thirty-seven years later, the secularization laws of 1835 marked the end of the Premonstratensian presence. Thus, abruptly ended seven hundred years of fruitful history.

After thirty years of desolation and abandonment, during which the monastery was subjected to a true spoliation, losing the secular holdings of its library and many of the numerous artworks preserved by the Premonstratensian community, the abbey was acquired by the Province of the Philippines of the Order of Saint Augustine. It was designated as a house for the study and training of its religious members. From La Vid, hundreds of missionaries were sent out who carried out a grand apostolic task in the Philippines.

From the Province of the Philippines, in 1926, the Augustinian Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of Spain (commonly called of Spain) was born, to which, among other houses, the Monastery of La Vid was assigned as a center for formation and study for the new Province. Today, the ancient abbey, which continues to carry out intense cultural work through the Library, the Archive, and the Museum, has become the headquarters of the Interprovincial Novitiate of the Spanish Augustinians. Additionally, it has opened its doors as the “Center of Augustinian Spirituality,” not only serving the religious community but also all those who wish to encounter Saint Augustine, the Lord, and Mary, Queen of La Vid, in the silence, peace, and coexistence with the Augustinian Community.

In 2021, the 2nd session of the Provincial Chapter of the Order of Saint Augustine in Spain took place, concluding the process of merging the four Augustinian Provinces of Spain. The name of this new Province is “San Juan de Sahagún.” According to its Statutes: “The Province of San Juan de Sahagún, belonging to the Order of Saint Augustine, was canonically erected on October 1, 2019, by the Decree (Prot. N.323/19) issued by the prior general of the Order. It is the result of the union of the Province of Castilla, the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines, the Province of Madrid of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of Spain, and the Federation of the Provinces of the Order of Saint Augustine in Spain […] it is registered as a Province in the Registry of Religious Entities of the Ministry of Justice on September 20, 2017, with the number 023599” (Statutes, no. 1)

For more information about the Monastery of Santa María de La Vid, you can visit the following link