‘Joyousness sprang out of [his] physical energy, the sleepiness that found no bed too hard, neither the bare ground, nor the altar steps, nor the carved stalls. He loved the company of others, particularly the young. His radiant purity drew to him the generous hearts of all youth and made his very hands cool of their passions some tempted undergraduates.
Austere and hardy, able easily to bear fatigue, affectionate, touched quickly to tears and laughter, devoted to others, full of a lively gaiety of heart, he had the very foundation of the preacher’s gifts. Well educated, happy in his memory, trained to argument, he never neglected any means of keeping himself perfect for the work. He was abstemious in his food, singing loudly with his clear voice across the hills, gesticulating even in his prayers with indefatigable energy; he swayed and carried audiences of every kind.
With all an artist’s temperament and emotion he had the gifts of organisation and command; decisive, humble, lovable, his only weakness was too zealous and eagerness at first in publishing (of course, with the best of all motives) his austerities and even pretending a holy hypocrisy.
But that passed, and out of the strenuous pressure of life he awoke to sincerity and strength. The dreamer of Fanjeaux saw before him the level plains of his whole career when he planned his friars and Prouille. His portrait shows us that dreamer whose dreams came true, and reveals line by line the hidden power that faced them in marshalled pageantry “through the gates of horn”’.
from ‘Life of St Dominic’, 1924, by Fr Bede Jarrett OP (1881-1934)
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.
Fr Lee Kenyon