Image (above): This is an artistic impression of Hormuz in the book by Braun-Hogenberg entitled, Civitates Orbis Terrarum ("Cities of the World"), published in 1577 at Cologne, Germany.
A substantial part of the Portuguese fort at Hormuz still exists. Its walls and towers, although damaged, are still impressive, in particular the underground water cisterns.
Hormuz is a large island that is today part of the coastline of Iran immediately opposite the tip of the Musandam Peninsula in Oman.
This island lies at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. It is strategically siituated at the narrowest point of this waterway through which forty per cent of the crude oil of the world is shipped today.
The area is still called the Straits of Hormuz.
In the year 1571, the Portuguese province of the Augustinians created a special Augustinian Congregation of East India, based at Goa (India).
In the following year twelve missionaries were sent, and a few of them established an Augustinian priory (convento) at Hormuz in 1573.
The Augustinians purchased some houses from a local Hebrew and founded a church and priory, and later added a small hospital.
Dedicated to the honour of Mary under the title of Our Lady of Grace, in the East this priory (convento) was the second in size only to the Augustinian house at Goa.
(Continued on the next page.)