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Royal Brotherhood

of Holy Queen Mafalda de Arouca

Real Irmandade da Rainha Santa Mafalda (Royal Brotherhood of Queen Santa Mafalda (RIRSMA) was founded in 1886, after the death of the last nun of the Monastery of Arouca, with the aim of safeguarding, preserving, valuing and promoting the rich estate of this Cistercian Monastery, as well as avoiding its dispersion.

Real Irmandade da Rainha Santa Mafalda declared a Public Utility Institution through Order No. 11199/2009 of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, published in “Diário da República, 2nd series, no. 87, of May 6, 2009”, in the following terms:

“The Real Irmandade da Rainha Santa Mafalda is a private  association , tax payer no. 501384952, headquartered at the parish of Arouca, municipality of Arouca, it is a religious legal Institution , whose statutes were approved by the Civil Governor substitute of Aveiro on July 28, 1886. The papal recognition of the association occurred on February 1, 1887, by Leo XIII's brief, Ad Perpetuam King Memoriam. Real Irmandade da Rainha Santa Mafalda (Royal Brotherhood of Queen Santa Mafalda) is designed to promote the cult of Queen Mafalda, to cooperate with some parish activities (both  worship and pastoral), to administer the Religious Art Museum and to carry out all actions deemed necessary for the cultural and scientific projection of its assets. The association organizes annual painting and sculpture exhibitions and symphonic, polyphonic and pipe organ concerts as well as conferences”.

Real Irmandade da Rainha Santa Mafalda, through the activities it has carried out, besides the protocols celebrated with the Domingos de Pinho Brandão Study Center, cooperates with the central and local administration in teaching, disseminating and deepening portuguese culture.

For these reasons, as stated in the final information of administrative process no. 33/03 - B 02.07 instructed by the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, it was declared a public entity of public interest and administrator of the Museum of Sacred Art of Arouca, in terms of   Decree-Law no. 460/77 of 7 November, as amended by Decree-Law no. 391/2007 of 13th December.

Nowadays, with close to two hundred associatess, it has also been a space for cultural promotion, through the  Museum of Sacred Art, whose "guard and administration" it detains, the magnificent organ in the Nuns choir and the D. Domingos de Pinho Brandão Library . It is also the promoter  of the Festivity in Honor of Queen Mafalda, patroness of Arouca, on May 2.

In permanent dialogue with other local institutions – such as the Municipality, Misericórdia, Choirs and Music Bands - it has also been a meeting place for the locals who have emigrated  and return every year to visit and for all those who recognize the importance and historical and cultural significance of the Monastery of Arouca.


Largo de Santa Mafalda
Apartado 103 | 4540 - 108 Arouca

  • dummy(+) 351 256 943 321

  • dummy(+) 351 256 943 321

  • dummy rirsma@rirsma.pt

  • dummy museu@rirsma.pt

Royal Brotherhood

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