Saints of the Dominican Order

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Saints of the Dominican Order

It is said that when Dominic saw Heaven in a dream, he was brokenhearted to see no saints of the Order of Preachers standing before God. Feeling pity, the Lord called him over to the Blessed Virgin, saying, “I have entrusted your Order to my Mother.”  When Mary opened her cape, he saw many Dominican brothers and sisters, safe under her special protection.

We celebrate the Saints of the Dominican Order, who inspire us by their example and their prayer.

  • St. Dominic

    St. Dominic (1170 -1221), born Dominic de Guzman, is the founder of the Dominicans (Order of Preachers). He was known as the joyful friar, for wherever he went, he conveyed an enthusiasm for the Gospel and the love of Christ. People found him inviting because he offered them hope and encouragement. Dominic shared his intense desire to know God more deeply, and his own devotion to prayer and study gave those around him witness to God’s love.

    Dominic had a vision that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be shared and preached by those who want to respond to the needs of the world around them. He formed communities of women and men who had a love of God and a desire for service. This community would itself be a preaching, a word of encouragement, a word of compassion to the world around it.

    In every generation since the founding of the Dominican order, others have followed Dominic’s example. Today, through Friars, Sisters and nuns, tertiaries and Associates of the Order, Dominic’s charism is a living tradition.

    We celebrate Dominic’s feast day on August 8.

    “Have charity among yourselves; hold fast to humility; keep a willing poverty.” St. Dominic de Guzman
  • St. Catherine of Siena

    Originally named Caterina Benincasa, she was the 25th child born into her family in Siena, Italy, in 1347. She later became a lay member of the Dominican Order.

    Catherine cared for terminally ill patients, ministered to those on death row and provided spiritual direction to men and women in search of God.

    Though she lacked formal education, she is known for her many letters sent to men and women of all walks of life. Through her writings, she was instrumental in persuading the Pope in Avignon to return to Rome, and in brokering peace deals during a time of factional conflict and war between the Italian city states.

    Catherine is best remembered for “The Dialogue,” but her more than 400 letters and prayers led her to being declared a Doctor of the Church. Catherine died in 1380 at age 33. Her feast day is April 29.

    Our ecological ministry in Springfield Kentucky, St. Catharine Farm, and our learning center in New Britain, CT, the Siena Learning Center, are both named for this patron of our Congregation.

    “Preach the Truth as if you had a million voices. It is silence that kills the world.” St. Catherine of Siena


  • St. Martin de Porres

    Martin de Porres (1579 –1639) was a lay brother of the Dominican Order. He is the patron saint of mixed-race people, since his father was a Spaniard and his mother, a freed slave, a native of Panama. He is a special inspiration to all those seeking interracial harmony. He lived in Lima, Peru, and was noted for work on behalf of the poor, establishing an orphanage and a children’s hospital. His kindness to the poor and sick was well known and he was particularly noted for his healing ministry.

    Martin de Porres is often depicted as a young mulatto friar wearing the old habit of the Dominican lay brother, a black scapular, along with a broom, since he considered all work to be sacred no matter how menial. He is sometimes shown with a dog, a cat and a mouse eating in peace from the same dish. His feast day is November 3.

    The Martin de Porres Center, a Community and Arts center founded by the Dominican Sisters of Peace in Columbus, OH, is named for this saint.

    “Compassion is preferable to cleanliness. Reflect that with a little soap I can easily clean my bed covers, but even with a torrent of tears I would never wash from my soul the stain that my harshness toward the unfortunate would create.” St. Martin de Porres


We are grateful the the artistic contribution of Sr. Thoma Swanson, OP. We are blessed by her preaching.