Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
O Rex Gentium,
et desideratus earum,
qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.
O King of the nations,
and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.
Seven hundred ninety-three years ago today, Pope Honorius III gave official ecclesiastical recognition to the Order of Preachers. In the bull of confirmation, the pope expressed the great hope he put in St. Dominic and his small band of disciples: “Expecting the brethren of your Order to be the champions of the Faith and the true lights of the world, we confirm your Order.” A firm supporter of St. Dominic’s project, Honorius would issue in the subsequent five years over 60 bulls, letters, and documents granting certain privileges of the Order, which helped it to spread quickly all over Europe.
Click below for a brief description of the Order’s approval by Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, OP, the current Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. This audio was recorded in 1992 when (then) Fr. Di Noia taught theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington.
Before the recent liturgical reforms, the Order celebrated today the Feast of the Patronage of Our Lady. We now observe the usual Advent weekday, the Marian feast being transferred to May 8. Still, Dominicans around the world today thank God, Our Lady, and St. Dominic for providing the Church such a sure and certain way of living close to and serving the Grace of the Word. Please join us today in offering this prayer of gratitude.
who for the salvation of souls
didst place the Order of Preachers
under the special protection of the most Blessed Virgin Mary,
and wast please to pour out upon it her constant benefits:
grant unto thy suppliants
that we may be led unto the joy of heaven
through the aid of that same protectress
whose memory we revere today.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.