“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Mt. 5:8)
While last week’s’ solemnity of All Saints was of an ecclesial nature, today’s Feast of All Saints of the Order of Preachers is definitely one more of a family quality. Not only do we rejoice that some of our brothers and sisters have been held in honor by the Church and raised to the altars and some are even great saints, like St. Thomas, St. Albert, St. Catherine and in a more hidden way, St. Dominic, but we also celebrate our “little saints”—those Servants of God we read about in the Dominican Calendar whose “cult was confirmed” by Pope Such and Such. In others words, their cause for beatification has been closed but the Church still upholds them as holy men and women and models for us.
We also remember today those brothers and sisters we have known or lived with. These are the servants of God that were chosen in God’s providence to help us come to holiness through their example, encouragement and prayers.
Dominicans have a not so very good track record of promoting other Dominicans for canonization. The story even goes that it was only because St. Francis was canonized that the Dominicans thought they’d better do something about St. Dominic! Still, God knows those whom He wishes to give to the Church as an example and today there continues to be many Friars, Nuns, Sisters and Laity whose causes are up for beatification and canonization.
We come together as one Dominican Family today to celebrate not only Our Saints, but also our many Blesseds, Holy Friars, Nuns, sisters and Laity who have lived over the past 800 years.
We are so priviledged to celebrate them as they provide us with an example by which we follow in our religious lives, by their wondorous fellowship in their communion and in their much needed aid to us by their intercessions to God on our behalf.
We include in our celebrations also all the “forgotten” saints because according to the General Chapter of Valencia in 1337, there were 13,370 martyrs between 1234 and 1335. There were another 26,000 in the 16th century alone. Martyrs, confessors, virgins, and holy men and women all have their place of honor in the Order. Friars, worn down through constant contemplation, study, and preaching; nuns who lived lives of great prayer, silence, and penance; sisters who educated 1000’s of souls; and third order members who sanctified the world.
We celebrate our thanks to God on this Important feast day for our Order and turn to the examples of our Saints, their lives and their intercessions for us so that they may guide us on our spiritual Dominican life’s journey.
Our Order Father, Saint Dominic left us a wondrous legacy of teaching and preaching by word and example of how we should live our lives. It is, then, joyous and encouraging that so many of our Dominican brothers and sisters have been beatified and canonized.
Let us pray then in the example we have been taught to ask our dear saints to intercede for us, and to thank our God for all the saints of our Dominican Order and for the fruits of our order to be pleasing in his sight…..
God, source of all holiness, you have enriched your Church with many gifts in the saints of the Order of Preachers. By following the example of our brothers and sisters, may we come to enjoy their company for ever in the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.