The Institute Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, a religious community of Diocesan Right, was founded by Rev. Carlos Miguel Buela on March 19, 1988 in San Rafael, Argentina. The Institute Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará and The Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE), comprised of religious priests and brothers, along with the Third Order make up the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word. The two religious Institutes share the same charism, have twin constitutions and both include active and contemplative branches.
Why the name “Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará (SSVM)?
The name Servants (Servidoras) is a reference to (a) the faithful women who stood at the foot of the cross (Luke 8: 1-3) and (b) the term used by St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort in his True Devotion, 56.
The second part of the name, “of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará (del Señor y la Virgen de Matará) refers to the Crucified Christ and His Blessed Mother as found on the Cross of Matará worn by the sisters, since Jesus on His Cross and the Virgin Mary must be the foundations of our spirituality. (To answer the frequently asked question “Who is the Virgin of Matará?” )
We as women religious believe that our primary vocation is to be the “Spouse of Christ.” By giving ourselves totally to Christ, the Redeemer of Man and the Spouse of Souls through the vows of our consecration, we fulfill our own femininity. This is a spousal gift: “The woman, called from the beginning to love and to be loved, in her virginal vocation finds Christ above everything, as Redeemer who loved until the end through the total gift of Himself, and she responds to this gift with the sincere gift of her whole self” (On the Dignity of Women, Mulieris Dignitatem (1988).
Aware of the Father’s call and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we, the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, want to follow Christ, the chaste, poor, and obedient One. We want to take on His mind and His way of life. By imitating Mary of Nazareth, the exemplar of every religious woman, we desire to be signs of God’s tender love towards the human race and to be witnesses to the mystery of the Church, who is Virgin, Bride, and Mother.
We ask you to pray for our young Religious Family that our only interest may be to have life in Christ Jesus.
Our Religious Habit
The habit of the Servants includes:
• a grey tunic
• a blue scapular
• a blue veil for professed sisters
• a white veil for novice sisters
• the cross of Matará
• a wedding ring for the perpetually professed
Our habit with these colors represents the mystery of the Incarnation: the blue represents the Divinity of Christ and the grey represents His Humanity.
“…In that way the blue scapular, which represents the Divine Word, put over the grey habit, which symbolizes the humanity, is an eloquent statement about the great mystery of the Incarnation, in which the Word was united with our nature and dressed in our flesh…”
“In each Servant there should be a love for her Habit, it should be like her skin, so that united to the Incarnate Word, who united Heaven and Earth, she may flower into all kinds of good works and be for all the good scent of Christ (2 Cor 2:15).”
(Fr. Buela, IVE, Las Servidoras, Tomo I).
In the same way, Fr. Buela says that the Servants remind us of wisteria:
- for their great number with which the Lord has blessed them;
- because they are always traveling together in a group; and
- because they seem to be fragile, yet they have an enormous resistance.