Thought for the Day – 7 November – Feast of All Dominican Saints
On 7 November, the Order of Preachers celebrates the feast of All Dominican Saints, in which the Order honours those saints and blesseds of the Order who cannot be celebrated individually throughout the year, as well as those whose place in heaven is known only to God.
One of the proper readings available for Dominicans on this day is Sirach 44:1-15, in which the praises of the Israelites are connected with the diversity of the holy men and women of the Order.
I will now praise the godly,
our ancestors, in their own time,
The abounding glory of the Most High’s portion,
his own part, since the days of old.
Subduers of the land in kingly fashion,
renowned for their might,
Counselors in their prudence,
seers of all things in prophecy,
Resolute princes of the flock,
lawgivers and their rules,
Sages skilled in composition,
authors of sharp proverbs,
Composers of melodious psalms,
writers of lyric poems.
Stalwart, solidly established,
at peace in their own estates—
All these were glorious in their time,
illustrious in their day.
Some of them left behind a name
so that people recount their praises.
Of others no memory remains,
for when they perished, they perished,
As if they had never lived,
they and their children after them.
Yet these also were godly;
their virtues have not been forgotten.
Their wealth remains in their families,
their heritage with their descendants.
Through God’s covenant their family endures,
and their offspring for their sake.
And for all time their progeny will endure,
their glory will never be blotted out,
Their bodies are buried in peace,
but their name lives on and on.
At gatherings their wisdom is retold,
and the assembly proclaims their praises.
For over 800 years, numerous Dominicans, faithful to the way of life established by St. Dominic, have achieved great holiness. The Order can boast of more than 70 Canonised saints and 200 Blesseds, including three Popes, two novices and a master Renaissance artist, the Blessed Fra Angelico.
And for the past 800 years, Dominican Friars (and Sisters, of course) have donned the white habit, the familiar robes, the brand unique of the Order of Preachers. Each day whilst dressing, they quietly recite prayers as they do so. This is a glimpse into a rarely seen Dominican ritual.
Dominican Prayer whilst donning the Habit
Clothe me, O Lord, with the garments of salvation.a
By Your grace. may I keep them pure and spotless,
so that clothed in white,
I may be worthy to walk with You in the Kingdom of God
Gird me, O Lord, with the cincture of justice
and the cord of purity,
that I may unite the affections of my heart
in the love of You alone.
O God, whose only-begotten Son,
by His life, death and resurrection,
has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life,
grant we beseech Thee,
that meditating upon the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate
what they contain and obtain what they promise,
through the same Christ our Lord
Show yourself a mother,
He will hear your pleading whom your womb
has sheltered and whose hand brings healing.
Lord, You have set Your sign upon my head
that I should admit no lover but You.
We fly to Your patronage, O Holy Mother of God,
do not despise our prayers in our necessity
but free us from all peril, O Blessed Virgin.
Who were with Your great servants Moses and Joshua
and used them to bring Your children out of bondage,
fill us with that same grace,
that we may preach Your word boldly
and with authority for the deliverance of those
under the bondages of sin.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,