Dominican Cloistered Contemplative Life 
      in Fátima - Terra de Santa Maria
Praying at the Heart of the Church 

"The way of contemplative life, which you received from
St. Dominic in
the form of cloister, places you, as living
and vital members, in the heart
 of  the Lord´s Mystical Body, which is the Church..." 

            Pope Benedict XVI to the Nuns (Rome) June 2010

St. Dominic spoke only to God or of God
St. Dominic
spoke only to God or of God

 Hidden Preachers of Grace

  at the Heart of the Church



“The supreme vocation of the Christian is to encounter,
pray and live the Word. St. Paul’s words, “Woe to me, if I do
not preach the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16) are particularly resonant
today. Every Christian must see these words as not simply
a declaration but a vocation to serve the Gospel for the
world’s sake. Jesus said, “the harvest is plentiful” (Mt 9:37)…

(Synod on the Word of God Oct. 2008)

 In the mystery of life, God Who is the Source and the Supreme End of all, calls some to be Hid more intimate collaborators in the ongoing story of salvation. Among these He calls some to simply BE ...to remain, like Mary, at the feet of the Master...so that they may be all the more eager and receptive vessels of His teaching, His  compassion, His mercy and thus become more and more hidden, silent preachers of His grace. As the Ven. Pope Pius XII said: "The vocation of the Nun is fully and completely apostolic: unlimited by circumstances, place or time, it reaches out everywhere and always to all that regards the honor of her Spouse and the salvation of souls." Here in our Fatima cloister we are called to 

 follow Christ in the footsteps of St.  Dominic.


“A city set on a hill cannot be 

hidden.” (Mt 5:14)

 In their undivided attention to the Father´s word:

 "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” 

(Mt 3:17), and in their loving acceptance of that word, 

    cloistered nuns are always  "with Him on the holy 

    mountain."                  (2 Pt 1:17-18)     (Verbi Sponsa, 1) .                                                      

The Monasteris the place guarded by God (Zach 2:9); 

it is the dwelling place of His unique presence, 

like the Tent of Meeting where he is met day after 

day, "where the thrice-Holy God fills the entire 

space and is recognized and honored as the only Lord."  

                                                 (Verbi Sponsa, 8)        



           There are four main elements that constitute

                the Dominican monastic way of life:

                                              Common Life

                                  Liturgical and Private Prayer 

                            Evangelical Counsels - The Vows

                       Study of the WORD in Sacred Scripture    


To observe these faithfully the Nuns are helped primarily by Enclosure and Silence which

 are traditional and utterly essential observances on the monastic journey towards: 

Union with God.



 Common Life


"To live in harmony having one mind and heart  in God ."       St Augustine     

    Every monastery is born of Divine Love – the 

    Love that poured forth from the pierced side 

    of Christ crucified. Nourished together at the 

   same Eucharistic Table and participating 

   frequently in this banquet of unity,  we 

are gathered together in community in order to live in harmony having one mind and heart 

           in the Lord. As we desire to grow in holiness, a double spirit of 

           joy and tender fraternal charity marks our community life.  
  A religious community is not a  community of 

       saints, but a community of women 

         who are striving for sanctity.

             (Photo: Community with the former 

    Master of the Order, Fr. Carlos Azpiroz Costa, OP) 




"Dominic...believed unquestioningly in the value of prayers of intercession for the success 

of the apostolic work. Only in Heaven will we understand how much the prayer of 

cloistered religious effectively accompanies apostolic action!"   Pope Benedict XVI      




The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass 

   is the very Sacrament of our lives. From our active participation in theSacred Liturgy, the 

   Holy Sacrifice of Calvary, united with Jesus immolated on the Altar, our lives become more 

   and more penetrated with the spirit of love  and sacrifice. 

The moment of communion becomes a foretaste of heaven living at  the same 
time an energy to strive for it with greater courage ...  

              The Liturgy of the Hours 

      “Seven times a day I praise you” (Ps 119) Seven times a day, we gather in choir to pray 

and sing the liturgy of the Hours. Daily we are immersed in the Word of God and the official

 prayers of the Church. Gradually ever so quietly, we are being formed and molded in our 

true selves, into handmaids of prayer."


                                    Private Prayer

       Tireless in prayer, the Nuns should have their hearts centered on the Lord.  

Desire springing from the love of God is the root of prayer. Through our 

personal prayer we become increasingly aware of God’s love and grow in 

love of Him.  Listening to God in prayer plays an important role in our 

contemplative life. The thought of Him is our best thought in the day and

 in the night. It follows that penance goes hand- in- hand with prayer in a

 life of love, for love grows by giving, proves itself by giving. Love wants to 

share the labours and sufferings of the Beloved.  A glance at the crucifix 

shows us the ultimate example of love that Jesus has set us. It is in the 

simple acts of self-denial that we share in the salvific mission of Our Beloved.



       Meditation...not in thinking much 

                    but in loving much

  Christian meditation is an elevation of the soul to God  in 

  order to contemplate Him. The more we are convinced of His 

  Love, the greater is the impulse to return love to Him Who has 

  first loved us so much.

                           Lectio Divina 

                                             "We must continue to listen to His Word" 

                                                             In the truly monastic sense, Lectio divina 

            means the prayerful reading of the  Sacred Scriptures.  It enhances the life 

     of contemplation and leads the nun to a deeper communion with God and neighbor, 

     so that “the  Word may dwell abundantly in the monastery.”    

                                                                                                                           Book of Constitutions of the Nuns

        Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament- Perpetual Rosary

Hour by hour, the nuns succeed each other 

kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament uniting

in praise with the Blessed Mother by means of the 

uninterupted prayer of the Holy Rosary. There, 

before Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, the 

Sisters in adorationthanksgiving, supplication and 

reparation unceasingly intercede for the needs of the world and the salvation of souls.

 "Just as in the Upper Room, Mary in her heart, with her prayerful presence, watched over 

the origins of the Church, so too now the Church’s journey is entrusted to the loving heart 

and praying hands of cloistered nuns.”                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Instruction, Verbi Sponsa)  


                                          To JESUS through MARY!

 "Dominican Nuns hold the Rosary 

 in special honor, since this venerable form

  of prayer leads to contemplation of the 

  mysteries of salvation in which the Virgin is 

   intimately joined to the work of her Son.”  

                     Book of Constitutions of the Nuns




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