Those who have gone before us in the footsteps of St. Dominic are our big brothers and sisters who show us the way to holiness in the Dominican spirit. Their lives are to be emulated and their works studied. Some of those who have inspired us are featured below.
The Canticle of the Passion, or the “Passion Verses” as we say, is a specifically Dominican devotion traditionally sung on the Fridays of Lent. A compilation of texts from Sacred Scripture relating to the sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, this devotion was revealed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Catherine de Ricci, a cloistered Dominican Tertiary of the 16th century, after the Saint experienced the first of her many ecstasies sharing Our Lord’s Passion. “Our Lady is said to have desired Catherine, when she revealed this Canticle to her, to spread it through the convent as a form of prayer and contemplation supremely pleasing to our Lord. The venerable confessor, Fra Timoteo, wrote it out in full at the saint’s dictation and submitted it for the approval of the Order. Padre Francesco di Castiglione had then become general, and he was not satisfied with allowing its use in San Vincenzio. By … Continue reading
This letter from our Dominican brother, Blessed Henry Suso, speaks in his distinctive evocative style of devotion to Our Lord and to the Holy Name of Jesus. Although he is writing to Dominican nuns as their spiritual father, his words may apply to all who love and seek God. Pone Me ut signaculum super cor tuum! The eternal God pleads for a resting-place with His bride: “Lay me upon thy heart like a love-token” (Song of Songs). My dear children, I am sending you these letters to provide food for your souls by which your heart and spirits may be constantly renewed and set aflame in tender love of the fair and gentle eternal wisdom. For here is the deepest joy we can have in this life, when, alas, the purest contemplation, the most tender and intimate embrace and unchanging, everlasting union with Him is still impossible to us. By … Continue reading
Over 800 years ago our Holy Father St. Dominic began his life work, gathering men around him to preach God’s Truth for the salvation of souls after the example of the apostles. As the “holy preaching” grew by the grace of God, St. Dominic saw the need for universal approval to free his brethren to preach the Word not only in one diocese but wherever needed in the Church. In 1216, he obtained the desired approval from Pope Honorius III. From November 7, 2016 to January 21, 2017, the Order of Preachers celebrates the 800th Jubilee (Anniversary) of this great event. Among the first fruits of St. Dominic’s holy preaching were the nine women converts from heresy, who came to him and were formed into the first monastery of Dominican nuns in the year 1206. Ever since then, the Dominican nuns’ life of contemplation has been at the heart of … Continue reading
Before St. Dominic founded the Order of Preachers, several men experienced a similar vision. One of them recounts: Once I was caught up in ecstasy for three days and three nights and saw our Lady Mary Mother of God kneeling with her hands joined and begging her Son to wait for the human race to do penance. He put His faithful Mother off many times, but finally answered: ‘My Mother, what more can or should I do for the world? I have sent them prophets and patriarchs for their salvation and they did little to reform; I came Myself and sent out apostles, and these evil people killed Me and them; I sent so many martyrs, doctors and witnesses, and they would not listen to them. But, because it is not right for Me to deny you anything, I will give them preachers to enlighten and correct them. And another … Continue reading
Today is a festive day for the Sisters in the Novitiate, as they celebrate the feast of St. Louis Bertrand, O.P., patron saint of Dominican novice masters and novice mistresses. Each year sees a joyous celebration of his feast day in honor of our Novice Mistress here at Marbury. There are many wonderful stories of St. Louis Bertrand worthy of their own post. The story below, however, features not St. Louis Bertand himself, but Blessed Bernard of Moraas, a forerunner of his in the history of holy Dominican novice masters. A Novice Master’s Prerogative: A Dominican Saint Story There is scarcely a more beautiful story in the Chronicles of the Order than that of Blessed Bernard of Moraas and his novices of the Convent of Santaren in Portugal. This holy man was a native of Gascony, and exercised the office of sacristan in his convent. He also taught some of … Continue reading