Category Archives: Dominican saints & blesseds

All Saints and All Souls Days in religious orders

benedict and devil.jpgThe Church is not liturgically monolithic: let’s consider the various observances of feasts of All Saints and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls) in various religious orders:

All Saints
  • November 5: the Society of Jesus
  • November 7: the Order of Preachers
  • November 13: the Order of St Benedict; Order of St Augustine; the Trinitarian Order
  • November 29: the Franciscan Families
All Souls
  • October 5: the Capuchin Order
  • November 5: the Franciscan Families
  • November 8: the Order of Preachers
  • November 13: the Carthusians
  • November 14: the Order of St Benedict; the Trinitarian Order
  • November 15: the Order of Carmel
  • November 16: the Servite Order

Translation of the Relics of Saint Dominic

St Dominic GM Mazza.jpgO Light of the Church, teacher of truth, rose of patience, ivory of chastity; you freely pour forth the waters of wisdom, preacher of grace, unite us with the blessed. 

(Magnificat antiphon for Vespers; O Lumen)
In Churches administered by the Order of Friars Preachers (the Dominicans) the faithful would have heard the Mass prayers not for Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter but for the Translation of the Relics of Saint Dominic. That is, the observance of a secondary feast of Saint Dominic.
What is celebrated is not the mere moving of a coffin from one place to another but the recognition by the Church that the person in question has the “odor of sanctity.” That is, he or she is infallibly with the Blessed Trinity. The Dominican friars did in fact, move the body of their holy father from a humble place of burial to a more noble one, but this feast really marks an ecclesial event  recognizing the sign that Dominic was holy man.
It ought to be noted, however, Dominic was buried as he wished, “under the feet of his brothers. in the Church of Saint Nicholas de Vineis. Known among the faithful to be a blessed man who loved everyone and was in turn loved by all, Dominic asked the Lord to heal people of their infirmities. Miracles happened and were acknowledged by many except for the Dominicans; they in fact destroyed the offerings left as gifts of thanksgiving at the grave of Father Dominic. Pope Gregory IX, on 24 May 1233, sanctioned the moving of the body that happened in the presence of the archbishop of Ravenna, Theodoric and the second Master of the Order Blessed Jordan of Saxony to a new marble tomb during the Dominican’s General Chapter held in Bologna. This gesture inaugurated the process of canonizing Dominic which happened on 3 July 1234 by Gregory IX.

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God so desires her (our) salvation

In these days following the feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, I thought I would post this rather beautiful extract from one of the saint’s Dialogues. It shows the depth of love that Catherine knew she had with her Savior, her lover.

Jesus exchanges his  heart with Catherine's.jpg

“O eternal, infinite Good! O mad lover! And you have need of your creature? It seems so to me, for you act as if you could not live without her, in spite of the fact that you are Life itself, and everything has life from you and nothing can have life without you. Why then are you so mad? Because you have fallen in love with what you have made! You are pleased and delighted over her within yourself, as if you were drunk with desire for her salvation. She runs away from you and you go looking for her. She strays and you draw closer to her. You clothed yourself in our humanity, and nearer than that you could not have come.”

Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, tr. Suzanne Noffke (New York: Paulist Press 1980) 325.

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

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]
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