Brno (or Brunn) in the Czech Republic has the distinction of having the only Augustinain abbey in the lengthy history of the Order of Saint Augustine.
The Augustinian Order formally began with the Grand Union of 1256
. Members of the Order first arrived in Brno in 1346.
Their communuity was granted a founding document in 1350 by the Moravian Margrave, John Henry of Luxembourg.
Jan Jindrich Lucemburský, Count of Moravia set down the constitution of their Brno community six years later.
The basic works of the Brno foundation were to be spiritual leadership, education, and scientific activity.
Due to the lack of suitable space within the town, the Augustinians built on a site "in front of the walls" near the Rhine Gate - now the Moravian Square.
In the year 1373 the Augustinians in Brno were given the Panna Maria Svatotomska or Old Brno Madonna (see photo below).
According to legend, it is said to have been painted by Luke the Evangelist.
Later, Eustorgius, Bishop of Milan, who had been in service to the mother of the Emperor Constantine, Saint Helena, in Constantinople, and brought by her to Milan by way of Genoa.
Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II conquered Milan with the help of King Vladislav of Bohemia.
Frederick gave the painting to Vladislav in appreciation, and Vladislav brought it to Prague.