Among the founders of religious life, St. Augustine, "distinguished member of the Lord's Body" that he was, has acquired an eminent position.

After his conversion, deciding to serve God together with his friends, he returned to Africa where, first at Thagaste as a layman and then at Hippo after he became a priest, established the religious life "in keeping with the manner and rule laid dawn under the holy Apostles.

Augustine also founded a Monastery of Nuns, whose Superior during many years was his own sister. At his death he left monasteries of men and women under the direction of their respective Superiors.

On his firm foundation established by St. Augustine, as found in his Rule, the Apostolic See promoted the founding of the Order in the 13th century, from the union of the various groups of hermits and providentially destined for it the service of the church among the Orders of evangelical poverty, or of apostolic fraternity as they were called. On April 9th 1256, the Order was confirmed under the title of "Order of Hermits of St. Augustine". The name of "hermits" gradually became synonymous with Augustinians, and so it is that our Order is rightly called the "Order of St. Augustine" and is designated by the initials O.S.A..

From the very beginning of the Order, there has been a feminine component. Nuns are an integral part of the Order and hold in it an eminent position.