Daughter of St. Dominic

When I first started discerning my vocation, I knew very little about the different religious orders and congregations.  Someone suggested to me I start by getting to know the founders of the different orders and communities, to get a sense of their charism.

My quest to know more about St. Dominic and the Order of Preachers began with the “Life of St. Dominic” by Bede Jarrett, OP.  It did not take long for me to become captivated by St. Dominic: his learning and his faith, his utter love and abandonment to God and his zeal and compassion for his fellow man and the salvation of souls.

The Dominican nuns are fond to remember and share with others that, in the Dominican Order, they came first.  This too drew me to St. Dominic and his order, that it was started by the gathering together of women converted from heresy.  Until the time of St. Dominic’s death, he took special care of his daughters: early writings and stories passed down within the Dominican Order tell time and again how he ensured they were properly taken care of, how he protected them and their cloistered life, and entrusted their care to the friars.  He was firm, but with a tender father’s care, always encouraging and teaching them.

It is one of the first Dominican nuns, Blessed Cecilia, who gives us the only physical description we have of St. Dominic:

He was of middle height and slender figure, of handsome and somewhat ruddy countenance, his hair and beard of auburn, and with lustrous eyes. From out his forehead and between his eye brows a radiant light shone forth, which drew everyone to revere and love him. He was always joyous and cheerful, except when moved to compassion at anyone’s sorrows. His hands were beautiful and tapering; his voice was clear, noble, and musical; he was never bald, but kept his religious tonsure entire, mingled here and there with a few grey hairs.  Bl. Cecilia, The Legend of St. Dominic, Ch. 14.

I often think of those first daughters of St. Dominic, and of those continuing God’s work in the Dominican cloisters around the world today.  Thank you for your continued prayers and support that one day, God willing, I too may formally be counted as a daughter of St. Dominic.

O lumen Ecclesiae
Doctor veritatis,
Rosa patientiae,
Ebur castitatis,
Aquam sapientiae
    propinasti gratis,
Praedicator gratiae,
    nos junge beatis.
Light of the Church,
Teacher of truth,
Rose of patience,
Ivory of chastity,
You freely offered
    The waters of wisdom,
Preacher of grace,
    Unite us with the blessed.

Trackbacks

  1. […]  We have very few writings by St. Dominic, but his friars, nuns and other contemporaries left us many descriptions and stories about him.  He was always joyful and had a great love for sinners.  He was reputed to only talk to God or about God.  While traveling, he would often sing songs to the Blessed Virgin Mary or would drop behind his company to pray.  He would spend his days preaching, but always stopped for the liturgy of the hours.  He would spend his nights in prayer and was heard crying out to God, tears flowing, “What is to become of poor sinners?”  One of the nuns, Bl. Cecilia, left a detailed description of his appearance, the only way we know today what he looked like . […]

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