The Holy Father's Exhortation on the Priesthood

"The witness of a priestly life well lived brings nobility to the Church, calls forth admiration among the faithful, and is a source of blessings for the community; it is the best way to promote vocations, the most authentic invitation to other young people to respond positively to the Lord's call. It is true collaboration in building the Kingdom of God!"

—Pope Benedict XVI, Meeting with clergy and religious in Aparecida, Brazil, May 12, 2007

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 5: Feast of Saint Dominic


Memorial of St. Dominic, priestOld Calendar: St. John Mary Vianney, confessorTaken from CatholicCulture.org



At the end of the twelfth century the Church in France was ravaged by the Albigensian heresy, a doctrine which was not only entirely unchristian but which, in addition, constituted a social evil. Effective measures were required to be taken to combat it. Where others had failed, a Spanish canon, Dominic Guzman, succeeded. He was notable for his learning and love of poverty. The Order of Friars Preachers, which he founded about the year 1215, was endowed by him with these two characteristics; instead of manual labor, as practiced by the Cistercian monks, he required his friars to work with their minds by preaching and teaching. He died at Bologna on August 6, 1221. His friend, Gregory IX, canonized him three years later.
According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. John Mary Vianney and Sts. Cyriac, Largus and Smaragdus. St. Largus and St. Smaragdus are two Roman martyrs. They were buried at first on the Ostian Way. Their bodies were later transferred, after the peace of Constantine, to a church built near the baths of Diocletian by a Christian of the name of Cyriacus. The cult of St. Cyriacus has been joined to that of the two martyrs. St. Dominic's feast in this rite is celebrated on August 4. St. John Vianney's feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on August 4.
The Fourteen "Auxiliary Saints" or "Holy Helpers" are a group of saints invoked because they have been efficacious in assisting in trials and sufferings. Each saint has a separate feast or memorial day, and the group was collectively venerated on August 8, until the 1969 reform of the Roman calendar, when the feast was dropped.

St. Dominic
The Martyrology gives the following: "At Bologna (upper Italy) the holy confessor Dominic, the saintly and learned founder of the Order of Preachers. He preserved his virginity inviolate and gained for himself the grace of raising three dead persons to life. By his word he crushed heresy in the bud and led many souls to piety and to religious life."
Born about 1175 in Castile (Spain), Dominic hailed from the illustrious Guzman family. First he was a canon regular at Osma; then he founded the Dominican Order, which was approved in 1216. Alongside the Franciscans, it became the most powerful Order in medieval times, giving the Church illustrious preachers — St. Vincent Ferrer, and contemplatives, Sts. Thomas of Aquinas and Pius V — and contributing immeasurably to maintaining the purity of the faith. Through the example of apostolic poverty and the preaching of the word of God the Friar Preachers were to lead men to Christ. To St. Dominic is attributed the origin and spread of the holy rosary.
The two contemporaries, Dominic and Francis, effected a tremendous spiritual rejuvenation through their own spiritual personalities and through their religious foundations. Of the two, Dominic was the realist who surpassed the other intellectually and in organizational talent. His spirit of moderation, clarity of thought, and burning zeal for souls have become the heritage of the Dominican Order. Legend has contributed the following rare anecdote as preserved in the Breviary: "During pregnancy, Dominic's mother dreamed she was carrying in her womb a little dog that held a burning torch between its teeth; and when she had given birth, it set the whole world on fire. By this dream it was made manifest beforehand how Dominic would inflame the nations to the practice of Christian virtue through the brightness of his holy example and the fiery ardor of his preaching." He died at Bologna upon hearing the liturgy's prayer for the dying: "Come, ye saints of God, hasten hither, ye angels!"
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Many blessings to you and yours,
40 Days for Priests Team
+JMJ+

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