Saturday, December 22, 2007

791st Anniversary of the Order of Preachers

From the Dominican Province of St. Joseph Vocations blog:
On this day, December 22, in the year 1216, His Holiness Pope Honorius III gave official approval to the creation of the Order of Preachers to St. Dominic. It is somehow fitting in this season in which we look forward to the birth of Our Savior, we celebrate as well the birth of our Order. The anniversary is still celebrated in the Order, but impeded liturgically because of the primacy of these days before Christmas.
From the Moniales, OP blog:
For 10 years, St. Dominic preached against the heretics in southern France—sometimes with a few companions but often alone. Slowly, a radically new order began taking shape. Why radical? Because unlike other orders this new Order of Preachers would combine the apostolic life of the Apostles with mendicant itinerancy while at the same time having the monastic elements of silence, prayer, sung Divine Office, study and community life. It took 2 Popes and 4 Bulls for St. Dominic to get full approval of the Order of Preachers.

Even the name was radical. We might not think so today but in St. Dominic's time it was, for the office of Preaching belongs properly to the Bishop and his priests share in this office. What St. Dominic wanted was that his men (who would be ordained to the priesthood) receive the office of Preaching by reason of belonging to the Order. Both Innocent the IV and Honorious III trusted St. Dominic and knew him to be a man on fire for God and a man in whom the Holy Spirit acted powerfully. So, on December 22, 1216 the Order of Preachers was born.
St. Dominic, pray for us!

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