My students and I have been spending time this November with the Dominican Order. Some of these men and women are famous, like Catherine of Siena or Saint Martin de Porres. Others are well-known in certain circles of Dominican life, such as our own Father Samuel Mazzuchelli or the four cornerstones of our Congregation, Sisters Clara Conway, Ignatia Fitzpatrick, Josephine Cahill, and Rachel Conway. And, some, are anonymous, such as the martyrs of Japan and Vietnam. We are celebrating the memory of all those, known or unknown, who over the centuries have chosen to live visibly with the proclamation of the Gospel. These men and women are leading the way for us. They are beacons of light. Throughout their lives, each one has given us an example of how to choose love over hate, when prayer can make a difference, and where real happiness lies.
Saint Dominic, one night in prayer, saw the heavens full of holy men and women who had served God. But, he was very sad because in this vision, he saw no Dominicans. The Blessed Mother appeared to him in the dream and asked why Saint Dominic was crying. He told her that he missed the company of his Dominican brothers and sisters at this heavenly feast. Then, the Blessed Mother opened her mantle and Saint Dominic saw a multitude of members of his Dominican family glowing with joy. She said to Saint Dominic, “I am keeping the Dominicans with me.”
Popes, unnamed martyrs, Doctors of the Church, and countless faithful companions who are only known by a few. We come from a magnificent line of dear friends of God. How are we living the gospel message of love in our day? Who will be next under Our Lady’s mantle?
Peggy Ryan, OP
Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin