A small missionary group of Augustinians arrived in Cuba from Mexico in the late 16th century. In 1602, Bishop Juan de las Cabezas established the Convent of Saint Augustine. A modest church was built in 1608 and dedicated to Our Lady of the Candlemas. It was expanded during the late 18th century. Since 1842, the property has housed different orders of Saint Francis (Franciscans). These are related Catholic groups who follow the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi.