Our Roots

The Trinitarians were founded by St. John de Matha and St. Felix of Valois at the end of the 12th century. From the outset, a special dedication to the mystery of the Holy Trinity has been a constitutive element of their life, the beginnings of which are deeply rooted in the Crusades. The founding intention of John was the ransom of Christians held captive by nonbelievers, a consequence of crusading and pirating along the Mediterranean coast of Europe.

The Order and the Rule of St. John de Matha were approved by Pope Innocent III on December 17, 1198. The Order’s distinctive cross of red and blue can be traced to its beginnings.

Along with the Order’s mission of ransoming Christian captives, each Trinitarian Community served the people of its area by performing works of mercy. Thus redemption and mercy are at the very center of the Trinitarian charism.

First generation Trinitarians could count some 50 foundations throughout France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, Scotland, England and Ireland. Ransoming captives required economic resources and the Trinitarians set aside 1/3 of all income for this purpose.

The Order continued to grow. By the end of the middle ages there were twelve provinces of Trinitarians with approximately 150 houses in Europe. The late 16th century was a time of reform in the Church and in the Order. St. John Baptist of the Conception received papal approval in 1599 for the Spanish Discalced branch of the Order. Today’s Trinitarians are the direct descendants of this reform movement.

Trinitarian Devotions

The Holy Redeemer
The Holy Redeemer
The image of Jesus of Nazareth (The Holy Redeemer) ransomed by the Trinitarians reminds us of the work of redemption carried out by the Order throughout the centuries.

In every redemption, Christians, living images of God were ransomed. On more than one occasion there were also redemptions of sacred images of the Lord, the Virgin, and the saints. In 1682 the Spanish Trinitarians ransomed and brought back from Morocco a statue of the Holy Redeemer together with 211 Christian captives.

Just as on several occasions when captives who were rescued paid back the price of their ransom to the redeemers (if their means permitted it), in the redemption of the Image of Jesus, the Divine Redeemer, he willed to repay the price of his ransoming a hundred fold. The statue may be seen today in Madrid, Spain.

The feast is celebrated on October 23.

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Our Lady of Good Remedy
Our Lady of Good RemedyPrincipal Patroness of the Trinitarian Order
The Trinitarians have honored the Virgin Mary since she is the Daughter of the Father, the Mother of the Son, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit and the Sacred Vessel of the Holy Trinity.

According to very ancient documents, the feast of the Virgin was celebrated solemnly by Trinitarians. Every week since the year 1262, by a special indult, the Trinitarian communities prayed the office of the Virgin. The Trinitarians were moved to show this special devotion to the Virgin because often, when carrying redemptions of captives, they experienced special help from the Virgin of Remedy.

As a result, the Trinitarians became known for their veneration of the Virgin under the title of “Remedy” or “Good Remedy” and that confraternities, altars and images were set up in her honour.

The Solemnity is celebrated on October 8.

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