On March 19th, 1988, Feast of St. Joseph, Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela founded the Sister Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, female branch of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word, in San Rafael, Argentina. We are a religious community of Diocesan Right and together with the IVE we are comprised of Sisters, Priest, Brothers and Third Order members. The two religious Institutes share the same charism, have twin constitutions and both include active and contemplative branches. The sisters now number over 1,250 members present in over 35 countries around the world.
The first part of our name, “Servants” or Servidoras, refers to the faithful women who stood at the foot of the cross (Lk 8:1-3) and the term used by St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort in his True Devotion, 56.. By their example, these first “Servants” teach us to remain faithful to Christ “unto the end.”
The second part of the name 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. The cross is the source of our fruitfulness and joy. It is through her generous love of the cross that a Servant of the Lord becomes a true Spouse of Christ and Mother of Souls. The cross was carved by a native of the tribe of Matará, Argentina in 1595. This man’s faith was a fruit of Jesuit and Franciscan evangelization and his cross is an eloquent sign of what our Institute seeks: the Inculturation of the Gospel.
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).
Our Byzantine sisters wear the same religious habit but black in respect for traditions of the rite. This color symbolizes the breaking with the world and the total gift of oneself to God.