The last few weeks have been exciting, if you follow the Order of Preachers at all.
First off, the Order kicked off its 800th Jubilee on November 7th, 2015. The Jubilee celebration runs until January 21, 2017. I’ve written up a bunch of good information at the St Louis Bertrand Young Adults website, including notes on the daily lectio divina the OPs are posting, along with information on how one can gain plenary indulgences for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.
Next up, Dominican Tertiary, at his blog Breviarium S.O.P., continues his wonderful work of preaching the Dominican Order and tradition, something I think this modern world could use a lot more of. First off, Tertiary writes about one of my favorite “features” about the Dominican Order – their love and care for the souls of their departed brothers and sisters.
[On November 13th], in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we commemorate the Anniversary of the Deceased Brothers and Sisters of our Order. The ferial office is prayed according to the rubrics, and at Lauds a commemoration is made of St. Brice, Bishop and Confessor.
Being a true family, albeit a supernatural one, the members of our Order pray for one another, just as we pray for members of our earthly families.
There’s more information and some reflection at his blog, which I encourage you to read! As I’ve said before, we could all stand to imitate the Dominican Order a bit more in our lives!
But, don’t think that the Dominicans “relegate” their brethren to just one day a year. The Dominicans are a powerhouse of prayer for their brethren, as can be seen by Br Bonaventure Chapman’s post on the old OP Vocations Blog.
“It is good to be a dead Dominican.” This phrase seems unnecessarily morbid but I think it is good to reflect on now for two reasons: (1) November is one of the times Catholics are called to think about death, particularly with All Saints and All Souls celebrated early in the month; and (2) it is absolutely true!
Why is it “good to be a dead Dominican?” Because Dominicans pray for the dead, especially their brothers.
Lastly, we have a second post from Dominican Tertiary, one of the (sadly) lost feasts from the Dominican Order’s calendar, the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, Patron of Catholic Schools. If there was ever a feast that we needed in our lives, in not just the Dominican Rite but also the Roman Rite, it must be this one! This feast would have been a 1st Class feast in the 1962 Office, and everything in the Office was taken from St Thomas’ feast day (March 7), except for the last three lessons at Matins. At Mass, the propers were the same as his feast day, excepting the versicle after the responsory, which was proper to the feast, which read as follows:
Alleluia, alleluia! O Thomas, radiant lily, wearing a twofold crown, lead us, through our humble entreaty, to the hoped-for goal. Alleluia!
How great would the influence of that Angelic and Common Doctor of the Church be upon Catholic schools, if only we dare ask his intercession!
About the above painting: According to the art historian Francisco Stastny, this complex allegory was commissioned by Cristóbal Traslaviñas, rector of Cusco’s San Antonio Abad University, between 1692 and 1696. The canvas was paired with another of San Antonio Abad [Anthony the Abbot], now owned by the MALI, and both were commissioned at a critical time for the university, the existence of which was threatened by pressure from Cusco’s bishop, Manuel de Mollinedo y Angulo. These then, were votive paintings, designed to solicit the protection of the institution’s patron saints. In this case, Saint Thomas Aquinas appears triumphant, crushing the Hydra of heresy. In the background, the two symmetrically arranged gardens symbolize the university, and the flowers represent the community which composed it. The golden ribbons and inscriptions reflect the Thomist orthodoxy professed by this institution, while at the same time granting the canvas an archaic aspect. This latter characteristic is a response to the local preference for flat and idealized painting, with meticulous attention to ornamental details.