Let us first remember the great Samuel who dedicated himself to the service of the Lord in the temple at Shiloh (See 1 Sam in Bible). He lived in the temple day and night to serve the Lord, to offer praise and sacrifice. The Lord called him in the middle of the night to be His prophet, giving an example for future vocations. He was the one the Lord used to guide his people through the troubled times of the transition from pastoral life to city life, from the time of the judges to the time of the kings. It was he who anointed David, who was to serve as the great precursor and foreteller of the Christ, Jesus the Lord.
Let us also remember Saints Simeon and Anna whose constant presence in the temple in prayer and works of mercy give us Canons Regular today an example of the Lord’s worthy servants, who recognized Him and proclaimed Him, giving thanks to God and rejoicing to be witnesses of the great historical events of the salvation of humanity. (Luke 2:22-38) Even Jesus answered His mother with, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” when he remained in the temple in Jerusalem as a child. (Luke 2:49)
The apostles went to the temple to pray, and there they taught the new Christian community to sing hymns of praise, to break bread, to hold all things in common, and to live in brotherly love and mutual support. (Acts 2:42) They gave an example that the Canons Regular follow to this day: a life in the church, with prayers and songs, sharing property in common, laboring for the Gospel and for the people, and striving to give an example of Christian life and spirit to others.
Saint Augustine followed the example of the apostles and formed a religious community of the clergy who wanted to live in the church, to pray together, to contemplate and understand the actions of the Lord for the salvation of the world, and to be of service to the Gospel. He was a gifted preacher, a fierce lover of the truth, an example of brotherly love, and a model of pastoral service. For this community he wrote the Rule of St Augustine, which has been used ever since by the religious life he founded, the Canons Regular.
The historical record is full of the great men who have were Canons Regular and the works which they performed, and we have attached historical materials which will interest you.
The Canons Regular were the first to adopt the three evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience as the standard for religious life. So we are vowed religious men who form a community of prayer and common life in the church that we serve.
The Canons Regular of Jesus the Lord is a new congregation being founded in Russia at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Mother of God in Vladivostok. The Cathedral is a natural place for canons because there is plenty of opportunity to live, pray, and work together while helping to replant the Christian faith in this land in which it was almost completely destroyed.