Today, May 8, all the members of the Dominican Family celebrate the patronage of Blessed Virgin Mary over the entire Order. Blessed Cecilia who knew St. Dominic very well recounts the beautiful story that is at the root of this celebration:
“[St. Dominic] was rapt in spirit before God and saw Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin sitting at His right. It seemed to Blessed Dominic that Our Lady was wearing a cape of bright blue, the color of sapphire. As Blessed Dominic looked around, he could see religious of all the orders but his own around the throne of God, so that he began to weep bitterly and stood far away, not daring to approach the Lord and His mother. Then Our Lady motioned for him to come near. But he would not dare, until Our Lord Himself also called him. Then Blessed Dominic cast himself before them weeping bitterly. But Our Lord told him to rise, and when he did, Our Lord asked him, ‘Why are you weeping so?’ ‘I am weeping because I see all the other orders here but no sign of my own.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Do you want to see your Order?’ and he answered, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then Our Lord, putting his hand upon the shoulders of the Blessed Virgin, said to Blessed Dominic, ‘I have entrusted your Order to my Mother.’ Then he asked him again, ‘Do you still wish to see your Order?’ and again he answered ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then the Blessed Virgin opened the cape which covered her and spread it out before Blessed, Dominic, to whom it seemed vast enough to cover the entire heaven and, under it, he saw a large multitude of the brethren. Then prostrating himself, Blessed Dominic gave thanks to God and to Blessed Mary His Mother.” (Miracles of St. Dominic, 7)
Holy Mary, Mother of God and of the Order of Preachers. Pray for us as we approach the celebration of the 800th year of our Order.
Fr. Jorge Rátiva, O.P.