Category Archives: Dominican saints & blesseds

Saint Catherine of Siena

St Catherine.jpgToday is the transferred feast of the great Dominican saint, Catherine of Siena.

Since her feast day is April 29th, and this year the 29th was Good Shepherd Sunday, and the Sunday celebration is rarely trumped by a saint, the feast moved to the next available day.
Being that I work at a Dominican church, we celebrated Catherine’s gift to the Church with great solemnity. Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Sister Elaine Goodell, PBVM were honored with the “Saint Catherine of Siena Award” and Brother Ignatius Perkins, OP was inaugurated with the new chair of Catholic Ethics at the Dominican House of Studies. Brother Ignatius is currently a professor of Nursing at Aquinas College, Nashville.
Here for the celebration were the Dominican Friars, a secular priest, a Jesuit priest, with several congregation of sisters including the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, the Hawthorne Dominicans, the Dominicans of Nashville, the Sparkhill Dominicans, the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Sisters of Life.
“Set the world ablaze”

Blessed John of Fiesole –Fra Angelico

Blessed John of Fiesole.JPG

Too many in the world know today’s Dominican blessed for a nickname given to him more than his religious name. The Dominicans celebrate Blessed John of Fiesole, the post modern world would know him as Fra Angelico (1387-1455), people in his time also knew him as Guido. His talent and grace was indeed rare among people. Only in 1982 did the Church with Pope John Paul II recognize John’s holiness.

A prior post gives a very brief history and the liturgical prayer for Blessed John’s feast day here and a 2009 post is here.

Recently, a Dominican friar of the English Province spoke to Vatican Radio saying this of his friar:

“…is to give to others the fruit of our contemplation and painting…first to be communicated and then to be precisely the fruit of contemplation…. because vision is one of the elements of contemplation…traditionally for us heaven will mean the beatific vision…”

Blessed John, Fra Angelico as he’s known, was the angelic friar: “… because of the purity, the holiness of his own life…the subject matter…the extraordinary beauty, purity reflected…”

Father Robert Ombres, OP

Raymond of Penyafort Fellow in Canon Law at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford

Blessed Jordan of Saxony

Bl Jordan Saxony.jpegIn the Order of Friars Preachers today is the feast of day of Blessed Jordan of Saxony. Blessed  Jordan, from Paderborn, Germany (a Saxon noble) known for his piety and charity, was educated at the famed University of Paris. In 1220, he was admitted to the Order by Saint Dominic himself in and a year later was the Prior Provincial for the friars in Lombardy, and a year later he succeeded Dominic as the Master of the Order. 

Blessed Jordan’s preaching was known to be powerful to the point of bringing Saint Albert the Great to the Order and by extension you might say that he brought Thomas Aquinas to the fraternity. Jordan died in a shipwreck off the coast of Syria in 1237 on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Pope Leo XII beatified Jordan in 1825.
The Collect is noted here.
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Saint Thomas Aquinas

St Thomas Aquinas with bk detail.jpgO God, who made Saint Thomas Aquinas outstanding in his zeal for holiness and his study of sacred doctrine, grant us, we pray, that we may understand what he taught one imitate what he accomplished.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, patron of Catholic school teacher and researchers, pray for us.
“Man’s good and what makes man good in God’s sight does not, principally, consist in external acts. But in the external actions we must use discretion and make charity the measure of our use of them”

Saint Albert the Great


S. Albertus Magnus.jpgSt Albert the Great reminds us that there is
friendship between science and faith and that through their vocation to the
study of nature, scientists can take an authentic and fascinating path of
holiness.


His extraordinary openmindedness is also revealed in a cultural feat
which he carried out successfully, that is, the acceptance and appreciation of
Aristotle’s thought. In St Albert’s time, in fact, knowledge was spreading of
numerous works by this great Greek philosopher, who lived a quarter of a
century before Christ, especially in the sphere of ethics and metaphysics. They
showed the power of reason, explained lucidly and clearly the meaning and
structure of reality, its intelligibility and the value and purpose of human
actions. St Albert the Great opened the door to the complete acceptance in
medieval philosophy and theology of Aristotle’s philosophy, which was
subsequently given a definitive form by St Thomas. This reception of a pagan
pre-Christian philosophy, let us say, was an authentic cultural revolution in
that epoch. Yet many Christian thinkers feared Aristotle’s philosophy, a
non-Christian philosophy, especially because, presented by his Arab
commentators, it had been interpreted in such a way, at least in certain
points, as to appear completely irreconcilable with the Christian faith. Hence
a dilemma arose: are faith and reason in conflict with each other or not? 

This
is one of the great merits of St Albert: with scientific rigour he studied
Aristotle’s works, convinced that all that is truly rational is compatible with
the faith revealed in the Sacred Scriptures. In other words, St Albert the
Great thus contributed to the formation of an autonomous philosophy, distinct
from theology and united with it only by the unity of the truth. So it was that
in the 13th century a clear distinction came into being between these two
branches of knowledge, philosophy and theology, which, in conversing with each
other, cooperate harmoniously in the discovery of the authentic vocation of
man, thirsting for truth and happiness: and it is above all theology, that St
Albert defined as “emotional knowledge”, which points out to human
beings their vocation to eternal joy, a joy that flows from full adherence to
the truth.

Pope Benedict XVI
March 2010

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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