Today’s memorial of St Dominic is always a happy one. It is my son’s onomastico, an expression of our family’s love of, and reliance upon, this great saint for our own Dominic’s spiritual growth and wellbeing. Happy memories today, also, of a visit in May 2016 to the splendid Dominican Church of the Holy Rosary, Portland, Oregon, pictured above.
‘So noble in character, so ardently on fire with divine love was Dominic that there can be no doubt that he was a chosen vessel of grace. Except when he was moved to pity and compassion he always displayed great firmness of mind. A joyous heart is reflected in the countenance, and Dominic revealed his tranquillity of soul by the joyful kindliness of his look.
Everywhere, in Word and in deed, he showed himself to be a herald of the gospel. By day no one was more affable, more friendly than he with his brethren and companions, no one more fervent than he in vigils and prayer at night. His conversation was always either with God or about God; rarely did he speak on other matters, and this practice he commended to his disciples.
Dominic’s frequent and special prayer for himself was to beg from God true and efficacious charity for the salvation of men, for he was convinced that just as our Saviour, the Lord Jesus, gave himself totally for our salvation, only when he, Dominic, had devoted himself to the winning of souls would he be truly a member of Christ. When he had pondered the matter long and deeply he founded the Order of Friars Preachers for this very purpose.
He often exhorted the friars, both in his writings and by his words, to study constantly the sacred scriptures, in the old and new testaments. He always carried a copy of the gospel according to Saint Matthew and the epistles of Saint Paul; these he had studied to such an extent that he almost knew them off by heart.
Several times Dominic was chosen as bishop, but he always refused the office, preferring to live in poverty with his brethren, than to possess any bishopric. All his life he preserved his purity intact. He longed ardently to be beaten, to be cut into little pieces, to die for his faith. Gregory IX declared: “I knew him as a wholehearted follower of the apostolic way of life, and there is no doubt that he shares in heaven the glory of the apostles themselves”’.
from selected sources of the history of the Order of Preachers
Almighty God, whose Priest Dominic grew in the knowledge of thy truth, and formed an order of preachers to proclaim the faith of Christ: by thy grace, grant to all thy people a love for thy word and a longing to share the Gospel; that the whole world may be filled with the knowledge of thee and of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon