Friday, August 8, 2014

His Tears were His Bread

Today the Church celebrates the Memorial of Saint Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order -or - Order of Preachers (Ordo Prædicatorum).

In Dubrovnik, Croatia there’s a Dominican church which dates back to the fourteenth century. Most impressive there, above the altar, is a painted Gothic Crucifix by Paolo Veneziano, which was given to the Dominican church of Dubrovnik as a votive offering in the year 1384. It is one of the largest painted Crucifixes in Europe - about 16 feet or 500 centimeters. Unfortunately, in the year 1970 a radical re-design brought about the removal and destruction of the High Altar and Sanctuary.   

The Dominican Order is perhaps the most renowned promoters of the Holy Rosary. The fifteen Rosary promises are thought to have been given to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche by our Blessed Mother.

In Dubrovnik, which is a very beautiful, scenic city, there are many wonderful pieces of Christian art. Among them is the painting titled: “The Miracle of Saint Dominic” by Vlaho Bukovac. It is a painting from the nineteenth century. It hangs over the altar to the right in the Dominican church at Dubrovnik. The painting depicts a child being brought back to life through the intercession of Saint Dominic.

It is not only a reminder of the great man of God that Saint Dominic was, but also turns one's thoughts to what Jesus said in Saint John’s Gospel: “Amen, amen I say to you, he that believes in Me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do” (John 14:12).

In the Dominican supplement for the Liturgy of the Hours in which today's celebration is a Solemnity, Blessed Jordan of Saxony writes that Saint Dominic "during the daytime nobody was more sociable and happy with his brethren and companions, but at night nobody was more thoroughly dedicated to keeping vigil and to prayer. Tears waited for him at night, but joy in the morning. He used to weep plenteously and frequently, and his tears were his bread by day and night, by day especially when he celebrated his daily Mass, and by night especially when he kept watch in his uniquely unwearying vigils. It was his very frequent habit to spend the whole night in church, so that he hardly ever seemed to have any fixed bed of his own to sleep in." 

Our world today is in need of holy examples like Saint Dominic. 

Sancte Dominice, ora pro nobis!