The Vicariate of Spain of the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary properly dates back to 1874. Prior to this, (that is before 1830), the presence of the Province in Spain was reduced to oficial between presented by the Procurators before the King and the Council of the Indies. Aside from this it was the responsibility of the Procurator the task of recruitment and the sending of friars to evangelize in the Far East.

From 1830 onwards, the presence and activity of the Province and its Procurators in Spain acquired a new dimensión with the establishment of the Novitiate and Student House at the Convent of Ocaña . It was here that the Young would enter and complete their formation and studies before departing to the missions in the Far East. The administration was under the direct jurisdiction of the supreme authority of the Order until 1836, later under the Apostolic Commissair for Spain until 1872 in which its jurisdiction was transferred under the immediate supervisión of the Province.

The Provincial Chapter of 1874 appointed Fr. Pedro Pérez as the first Vicar Provincial of Spain, and with it the Provincial Vicariate of Spain was established.

From this date on, the Vicar Provincial would exercise the task of government over the houses and the friars of the Province in Spain, while the Procurator continued to be in charge of representations before the Spanish governement until the end of XIX century which witnessed the loss of the Spanish domination in the Philippine islands.

From 1900, The Vicar Provincial represented the Prior Provincial and the Procurator’ role was limited his activities exclusively in the economic and administrative business of his office.

Since 1969 the Vicars Provincials, now renamed “Regional Priors” were elected by all the members of the Vicariate.

After a long period of collaboration with the Provinces of Spain, Betica, Aragon and Portugal through the so called “Junta of the Iberian Peninsula” (JIP) and the demands of the new legislation, the Vicariate is faced with a new situation: since the three provinces of the Peninsula were merged into one single entity in 2016, the Vicariate had to intensify the bond of affinity and communion with the Mother-Province, revising the accords of collaboration with the new Province in Spain (known as the Province of Hispania) and the Dominican family.

Convent Of Saint Thomas - Ávila

The famous Royal Monastery of Santo Tomas in Avila was founded in 1493. It became a University from 1504 to 1807 and from 1816 to 1824. On 1 October, 1876 common life was restored in this Convent when the property was ceded to the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary by Queen Isabel II for the missionaries destined to the Philippine Islands.

In 1905, it became the Novitiate and Student House until 1948 and 1958 respectively. In 1958, the Studium Generale was transferred to Madrid but in 1960, the Studium for Theology returned to Avila, leaving the Institute of Philosophy in Madrid.  In 1963, the Studium Generale established the Institute of Theology and moved it back to Madrid in 1968.

In 1973, the Conventual Church was transformed into a Parish. Today, the historico-monumental now houses the Provincial Home for the elderly, the famous Museum of Oriental Art and Natural Sciences and the University Residence “Saint Thomas”.