One third of the world's monasteries are in Spain

Omnes-June 17, 2016-Reading time: 2 minutes

On May 22, the annual Day of Prayer for Vocations to the Contemplative Consecrated Life was celebrated. In Spain there are 9,153 nuns and monks.  

– Enrique Carlier

On Sunday, May 22, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the celebration of the Pro orantibus DayThis is the day on which the whole Church prays to the Lord for vocations to the contemplative consecrated life.

In tune with the Holy Year convoked by Pope Francis, this year's motto was. "Behold the Face of mercy", and its objectives: to pray for consecrated men and women in the contemplative life, as an expression of recognition, esteem and gratitude for what they represent; to make known this specific vocation, so current and necessary for the Church; and to promote initiatives to encourage the life of prayer and the contemplative dimension in the particular Churches through the participation of the faithful in some monastery celebration.

819 monasteries
On the occasion of the Pro orantibus Daythe Secretariat of the Episcopal Commission for Consecrated Life has published a set of certainly revealing data on the numerous representation of the contemplative life in Spain, to the point that our country counts with "one third of the total number of monasteries worldwide".

The Secretariat also points out that "the most numerous presence is female contemplative life, with a total of 784 female monasteries and 8,672 nuns." (these data refer to December 2015). The Poor Clares and the Discalced Carmelites are the congregations with the highest number of contemplative nuns in Spain and in the whole Church.

We refer here to autonomous monasteries, with a direct link to the bishop of the diocese in which they are located.

The men's monasteries are governed by regulations similar to those of religious life, which is also reflected in the specific apostolic mission they carry out.

As of December 2015, Spain had 35 male monasteries and a total of 481 monks. The monasteries with the most monks are the Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries.

In this Pro orantibus Day  We also pray for hermits and hermitesses, who live their contemplative spirituality in an even more solitary way. There are some who live this hermit life hidden from the eyes of men, residing in remote places in various Spanish dioceses.

By diocese
Toledo is the diocese with the most female monasteries with 39, followed closely by Seville, 37; Madrid, 32; Valladolid, 27; Burgos, 26; Valencia, 25; Pamplona and Tudela, Granada and Cordoba, with 22; and Malaga 19.

For its part, Burgos is the diocese with the most male monasteries: 4, followed by Madrid with 3 and the Canary Islands, Orihuela-Alicante and Pamplona and Tudela with 2.

On the occasion of the day, Archbishop Vicente Jiménez Zamora, Archbishop of Zaragoza and president of the Episcopal Commission for the Consecrated Life, pointed out that "Within the Church, the consecrated life and, in a special way, the consecrated contemplative life, is called to be a living transparency of the merciful Face of Christ".

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