{    Cnytr   }

{Thursday, February 10, 2005  }

.:{Our Lady, St. Dominic, and the Order}:.




"Once when St Dominic was passing the night in the church in prayer, about midnight he went out and entered the dormitory. After looking at his brethren he resumed his prayer at the entrance of the dormitory. While standing erect as he prayed, he chanced to glance to the other end of the dormitory and saw three very comely ladies advancing towards him, of whom the central figure seemed to be a lady more dignified and of higher rank than the others. One of the two attendants carried a beautiful and resplendent vessel of holy water, and the other a sprinkler, which she presented to the third who walked between them. This one sprinkled the brethren and blessed them, but as she passed along doing so there was one friar whom she neither blessed nor sprinkled. St Dominic observed this attentively, and noting whom it was, followed the lady as far as the lamp which hung in the middle of the dormitory: there he threw himself at her feet and began earnestly to beg her to say who she was, although he knew very well all the while. Now at that time the beautiful and devout anthem, the Salve Regina, was not sung in the convents of our brethren and sisters in Rome, but merely said kneeling. Then the lady addressed St Dominic and said: 'I am she whom you greet every evening, and when you say "Turn then our Advocate," I prostrate myself before my Son for the preservation of this Order.' St Dominic then enquired who her companions might be, whereunto she made answer: 'One of them is Cecilia and the other Catherine.' Upon this St Dominic made further enquiry touching the brother whom she had passed by, and why she had neither sprinkled nor blest him with the rest: at this she answered: 'Simply because he was unworthy of it.' Then she resumed sprinkling and blessing the remaining friars, and went away.

St Dominic returned to his prayers, and was caught up in spirit from where he was standing to the throne of God, and there he beheld our Lord, and the Blessed Virgin sitting on his right hand, whilst she appeared to our holy father to be wearing a mantle of deep blue colour. As he gazed round he saw religious men of every Order in the Church standing in God's presence, but not one of his own family, so he began to weep bitterly and would not presume to come near our Lord and his holy mother. Thereupon she made a sign with her hand for him to draw nigh, but still he did not dare to do so until our Lord also beckoned to him; then he came up and threw himself down before them, weeping as if his heart would break. Then Christ bade him arise, and asked him gently: 'Why weepest thou thus sorrowfully?' 'I am grieving,' said St Dominic, 'because I see here members of every religious Order, but of my own not one.' Then our Lord said: 'And would you see your Order?' To this the saint answered trembling: 'Yes, Lord, of a surety I would.' Placing his hand lovingly on the Blessed Virgin's shoulder, Christ replied: 'I have given over your Order to my mother's care.' At this the Blessed Virgin drew back her mantle, and opening it wide before St Dominic, it seemed to enclose nearly the whole of that heavenly country, so vast was it, and beneath it he saw a great host of his brethren. Casting himself down, St Dominic returned right hearty thanks to Christ and his holy mother; soon the vision passed away, and once again regaining his natural consciousness he rang the bell for matins. When the morning office was over he summoned the brethren to the chapter-house, and there spoke to them with burning words, exhorting them to love and reverence ever the blessed Virgin, and amongst the rest he told them of his vision. When the chapter was over he called aside the friar whom our blessed Lady had neither sprinkled nor blessed, and tried by gentle speech to discover whether there was not some secret sin which he had not confessed, for the brother had made a general confession to St Dominic. The brother made this reply: 'Holy father, I have nothing to reproach myself with in conscience except this, that on that night I retired to rest without being dressed according to rule.'

St Dominic recounted this vision to Sister Cecilia and the other sisters of St Sixtus, yet as if it had befallen someone else, but the brethren present then, who had heard him relate it before, gave the sisters to understand that the person was none other than himself. It was on this account that St Dominic made it a rule that all his brethren should sleep in tunic and girdle wherever they might be."

~The Legend of St. Dominic by Bld. Cecilia Cesarine, O.S.B.
posted by Lauren, 5:01 PM

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