In 2016, the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans, will observe 800 years of being an approved form of life in the Church. The Dominican family of nuns, friars, sisters, and laity –indeed, the whole Church, can be grateful to God for the genius of Saint Dominic. The image to the left expresses the Dominican charism as given by God through apostolic imitation of Saints Peter and Paul, and below, there is the narrative of the Order being under the mantle of Our Lady. Without these two bookends, the Order of Preachers is nothing. May we all follow this heavenly guidance.
Dominic was wrapt in spirit unto God. And he saw the Lord with the Blessed Virgin standing on His right hand… And looking about him he saw religious of every Order standing before God, but of his own he did not see one. Then he began to weep bitterly… but our Lady beckoned him with her hand to approach. Nevertheless he did not dare to come until our Lord also in His turn had made him a sign to do so. He came therefore and fell prostrate before them, weeping bitterly. And the Lord commanded him to rise and when he was risen, He said to him, “Why weepest thou thus bitterly?” And he answered, “I weep because I see here religious of all Orders except mine own.” And the Lord said to him, “Wouldst thou see thine own?” And he trembling replied, “Yes, Lord.” Then the Lord placed His hand on the shoulder of the Blessed Virgin and said to the blessed Dominic, “I have given thine Order to My Mother.” …Then the Blessed Virgin opened the mantle in which she seemed to be dressed, and extending it before the eyes of Dominic so that its immensity covered all the space of the heavenly country, he saw under its folds a vast multitude…
Augusta Theodosia Drane
The History of St. Dominic, Founder of the Friars Preachers