The Congregation of the Cellittinnen Augustinians was founded on 19th November 1838 by a group of Augustinian sisters in the Diocese of Cologne, Germany. The Congregation follows the Rule of St. Augustine, who is the heavenly patron of the Congregation. The Congregation honours also St. Elizabeth of Hungary as the Patroness of the Congregation since it is on her feast day, November 19, that the sisters have received a written request for their service in the Government Hospital. Having discerned divine providence and the will of God in this invitation, the pioneers of our Congregation started to render their service to the needy in the hospital. In this move they identified the Charism of the Congregation: “Moved by the compassionate love of God, we respond to the signs of the time.” In those days they were mainly involved in the nursing care of the sick.
The Congregation is affiliated to the world wide community of the Augustinian Order and thus we add ‘Order of St. Augustine’ (OSA) to our names. All professed members of the Congregation add “Mary” to their names, out of gratitude to Holy Mary, Mother of God, for the manifold blessings we have received through her. It was a diocesan congregation. The congregation is declared as a congregation of Pontifical right from 25th January 2011.
The Indian Mission: Although the Congregation had developed and flourished rapidly, it rooted itself only in Germany and Belgium until 1964. Responding to the call of Vatican II, our Congregation also began to dream of opening its doors to the missions. The providential meeting in 1963 between Mother M. Cleta Höschen, the then Superior General of the Congregation, and the then Archbishop of Changanacherry, Mar Mathew Kavukattu, led to the decision that the Congregation would extend its roots to the Indian soil.
Behold, O Mother of Perpetual Help, at thy feet a wretched sinner, who has recourse to thee and trusts in thee. O Mother of mercy, have pity on me; I hear all men call thee the refuge and hope of sinners: be therefore my refuge and my hope. Help me for the love of Jesus Christ: hold out thy hand to a fallen wretch, who commends himself to thee and dedicates himself to be thy servant forever. I praise and thank God, who of His great mercy hath given me this confidence in thee, a sure pledge of my eternal salvation.