Monday, October 29, 2012

Sun, Oct 28, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Apostle, Hebrews 5:1-6, Mark 10:46-52 , Saint Jude Thaddeus, Dominican Order

Sunday, October 28, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog:

Apostle, Hebrews 5:1-6, Mark 10:46-52 , Saint Jude Thaddeus, Dominican Order

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!
Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


October 25, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:

"Dear children! Today I call you to pray for my intentions. Renew fasting and prayer because Satan is cunning and attracts many hearts to sin and perdition. I call you, little children, to holiness and to live in grace. Adore my Son so that He may fill you with His peace and love for which you yearn. Thank you for having responded to my call." ~ Blessed Virgin Mary

October 02, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:

"Dear children; I am calling you and am coming among you because I need you. I need apostles with a pure heart. I am praying, and you should also pray, that the Holy Spirit may enable and lead you, that He may illuminate you and fill you with love and humility. Pray that He may fill you with grace and mercy. Only then will you understand me, my children. Only then will you understand my pain because of those who have not come to know the love of God. Then you will be able to help me. You will be my light-bearers of God’s love. You will illuminate the way for those who have been given eyes but do not want to see. I desire for all of my children to see my Son. I desire for all of my children to experience His Kingdom. Again I call you and implore you to pray for those whom my Son has called. Thank you."
~ Blessed Virgin Mary


Today's Word:  apostle  a·pos·tle  [uh-pos-uhl]

Origin: before 950; Middle English,  variant of apostel, apostol, Old English apostol  (compare Old Frisian apostol, Old High German apostol ( o ), German Apostel ) < Late Latin apostolus  < Greek apóstolos  literally, one who is sent out; akin to apostéllein  to send off; see apo-.  Compare, with loss of initial unstressed a-, Middle English postle, postel, Old English postol  (> Old Norse postuli ) Old High German postul

1. any of the early followers of Jesus who carried the Christian message into the world.
2. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) any of the original 12 disciples called by Jesus to preach the gospel: Simon Peter, the brothers James and John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alpheus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas Iscariot.
3. the first or the best-known Christian missionary in any region or country.
4. Eastern Church . one of the 70 disciples of Jesus.
5. the title of the highest ecclesiastical official in certain Protestant sects.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Hebrews 5:1-6

1 Every high priest is taken from among human beings and is appointed to act on their behalf in relationships with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins;
2 he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or who have gone astray, because he too is subject to the limitations of weakness.
3 That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people.
4 No one takes this honour on himself; it needs a call from God, as in Aaron's case.
5 And so it was not Christ who gave himself the glory of becoming high priest, but the one who said to him: You are my Son, today I have fathered you,
6 and in another text: You are a priest for ever, of the order of Melchizedek.


Today's Gospel Reading - Mark 10:46-52

Jesus heals Bartimaeus, the blind man from Jericho
The blind see! Let those who see not be deceived!
Mark 10:46-52 

Opening prayer

Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind that you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your sentence and death. Thus, the cross that seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the source of life and of resurrection.

Create in us silence so that we may listen to your voice in Creation and in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May your word guide us so that we too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the force of your resurrection and witness to others that you are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of you, Jesus, son of Mary, who revealed to us the Father and sent us your Spirit. Amen.


a) A key to the reading:
This Sunday’s Gospel tells the story of the healing of Bartimaeus, the blind man from Jericho (Mk 10:46-52). This story includes a long instruction from Jesus to his disciples (Mk 8:22 to 10:52). Mark places the healing of the anonymous blind man at the beginning of this instruction (Mk 8:22-26), then, at the end, he tells us of the healing of the blind man from Jericho. As we shall see, the two healings are symbols of what went on between Jesus and his disciples. They point to the process and purpose of the slow learning by the disciples. They describe a starting point (the anonymous blind man) and an end point (Bartimaeus) of Jesus’ instruction to his disciples and to all of us.

As we read, we shall try to look at the attitudes of Jesus, the blind Bartimaeus and the people of Jericho, and to all that each of them says and does. As you read and meditate the text, think that you are looking into a mirror. Which image is it reflecting of you: that of Jesus, of the blind Bartimaeus, of the people?

b) A division of the text as a help to the reading:
Mark 10:46: The description of the context of the episode
Mark 10:47: The cry of the poor
Mark 10:48: The reaction of the people to the cry of the poor
Mark 10:49-50: Jesus’ reaction to the cry of the poor
Mark 10:51-52: The conversation between Jesus and the blind man and his healing

c) Gospel: Mark 10:46-52
46 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus -- that is, the son of Timaeus -- a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and cry out, 'Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.' 48 And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, 'Son of David, have pity on me.' 49 Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him here.' So they called the blind man over. 'Courage,' they said, 'get up; he is calling you.' 50 So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus spoke, 'What do you want me to do for you?' The blind man said to him, 'Rabbuni, let me see again.' 52 Jesus said to him, 'Go; your faith has saved you.' And at once his sight returned and he followed him along the road.

A moment of prayerful silence so that the Word of God may penetrate and enlighten our life.

Some questions to help us in our personal reflection.
a) What pleased you most in this text? Why?
b) What is Jesus’ attitude: what does he say and do?
c) What is the attitude of the people of Jericho: what do they say and do?
d) What is the attitude of the blind Bartimaeus: what does he say and do?
e) What lesson can we learn from the healing of the blind Bartimaeus?

For those who wish to go deeper into the theme

a) The context of Jesus’ long instruction to his disciples:
The healing of the anonymous blind man at the beginning of the instruction, takes place in two phases (Mk 8:22-26). In the first phase the blind man begins to intuit things, but only just. He sees people as if they were trees (Mk 8:24). In the second phase, after the second trial, he begins to understand better. The disciples were like the anonymous blind man: they accepted Jesus as Messiah, but they could not accept the cross (Mk 8:31-33). They were people who saw people as trees. Their faith in Jesus was not strong. They continued to be blind! When Jesus insisted on service and the giving of ones life (Mk 8:31;34; 9:31; 10:33-34), among themselves they insisted on knowing who was the most important (Mk 9:34), and they continued to ask for the first places in the Kingdom, one on the right and the other on the left of the throne (Mk 10:35-37). This shows that the dominant ideology of the time had taken deep root in their mentality. After living with Jesus for a number of years, they had not yet been renewed enough to see things and persons. They looked at Jesus with the eyes of the past. They wanted him to be what they imagined he should be: a glorious Messiah (Mk 8:32). But the aim of Jesus’ instruction was so that his disciples might be like the blind Bartimaeus who accepted Jesus as he was, a faith that Peter did not have as yet. Thus Bartimaeus is a model for the disciples of Jesus’ time and for the community of Mark’s time as well as for all of us.

b) A commentary on the text:
Mark 10:46-47: The description of the context of the episode: The cry of the poor
At last, after a long walk, Jesus and his disciples come to Jericho, the last stop before going up to Jerusalem. The blind Bartimaeus is sitting by the side of the road. He cannot take part in the procession that accompanies Jesus. He is blind, he can see nothing. But he shouts, calling for the Lord’s help: “Son of David! Have pity on me!” The expression “Son of David” was the most common title that people ascribed to the Messiah (Mt 21:9; cf Mk 11:10). But Jesus did not like this title. He criticized and questioned the attitude of the doctors of the law who taught the people that the Messiah would be the Son of David (Mk 12:35-37).

Mark 10:48: The reaction of the people to the cry of the poor
The cry of the poor feels uncomfortable, unpleasant. Those who were following the procession with Jesus try to keep Bartimaeus quiet. But “he shouted all the louder!” Today too the cry of the poor feels uncomfortable. Today there are millions who shout: migrants, prisoners, hungry people, sick people, those marginalized and oppressed, those unemployed, without wages, without a home, without a roof, without land, who never feel loved! Their shouts are silenced, in our homes, in the churches, in world organizations. Only those who open their eyes to what is happening in the world will listen to them. But many are those who have stopped listening. They got used to the situation. Others try to silence the cries, as they tried with the blind man from Jericho. But they cannot silence the cry of the poor. God listens to them (Ex 2:23-24; 3:7). God says: “You will not ill-treat widows or orphans; if you ill-treat them in any way and they make an appeal to me for help, I shall certainly hear their appeal!” (Ex 22:21).

Mark 10:49-50: Jesus’ reaction to the cry of the poor
What does Jesus do? How does God hear this cry? Jesus stops and orders the blind man to be brought to him. Those who wanted to silence him, to silence the uncomfortable cry of the poor, now, at Jesus’ request, see themselves bound to act in such a way as to bring the poor to Jesus. Bartimaeus leaves everything and goes to Jesus. Not that he possessed much, just a cloak. It is all he has to cover his body (cf. Ex 22:25-26). It is his security, his solid land!

Mark 10:51-52: The conversation between Jesus and the blind man and his healing
Jesus asks: “What do you want me to do for you?” It is not enough to shout. One must know what one is shouting for! The blind man answers: “Rabbuni! Let me see again!” Bartimaeus addressed Jesus in a manner not at all common, even, as we have seen, with the title “Son of David” that Jesus did not like (Mk 12:35-37). But Bartimaeus has more faith in Jesus than in the ideas and titles concerning Jesus. Not so the others present. They do not see what is necessary, like Peter (Mk 8:32). Bartimaeus knows how to give his life by accepting Jesus without any conditions. Jesus says to him: “Go! Your faith has saved you!” At once his sight was restored. He leaves everything and follows Jesus (Mk 10:52). His healing is the result of his faith in Jesus (Mk 10:46-52). Now healed, Bartimaeus follows Jesus and goes with him up to Jerusalem and to Calvary! He becomes a model disciple for Peter and for all of us: to put our faith more in Jesus than in our ideas about Jesus!

Further information:
The context of the journey to Jerusalem
Jesus and his disciples are on the way to Jerusalem (Mk 10:32). Jesus goes before them. He is in a hurry. He knows that they will kill him. The prophet Isaiah had foretold this (Is 50:4-6; 53:1-10). His death is not something that will come about through blind destiny or an established plan, but as a consequence of an assumed duty, of a mission received from the Father together with those excluded of his time. Jesus warns the disciples three times concerning the torture and death that await him in Jerusalem (Mk 8:31; 9:31; 10:33). The disciple must follow his master, even to suffering with him (Mk 8:34-35). The disciples are taken aback and go with him full of fear (Mk 9:32). They do not understand what is happening. Suffering was not part of the idea they had of the Messiah (Mk 8:32-33; Mt 16:22). Not only did some of them not understand, but they kept on cherishing personal ambitions. James and John ask for a place in the glory of his Kingdom, one on the right hand and one on the left of Jesus (Mk 10:35-37). They want to go above Peter! They do not understand Jesus’ plan. They are only concerned with their own interests. This reflects the fights and tensions that existed in the communities of Mark’s time and that exist even now in our communities. Jesus reacts decisively: “You do not know what you are asking!” (Mk 10:38) He asks them if they are capable of drinking the cup that he will drink and receive the baptism that he will receive. The cup is the cup of suffering, and the baptism is the baptism of blood. Jesus wants to know whether rather than a place of honour they will be willing to give their lives even to death. They answer: “We can” (Mk 8:39). This seems to be an answer that comes from their lips because a few days later they abandon Jesus and leave him alone at the hour of suffering (Mk 14:50). They have but a little critical conscience, they do not see his personal reality. In his instruction to the disciples, Jesus stresses the exercise of authority (cf. Mk 9:33-35). In those days, those who held power paid no attention to the people. They acted according to their ideas (cf. Mk 6:17-29). The Roman Empire controlled the world and kept it submissive by force and thus, by means of tributes, taxes and customs, was able to concentrate the wealth of the people in the hands of a few in Rome. Society was characterized by the exercise of repression and the abuse of power. Jesus thinks otherwise. He says: “Among you this is not to happen. No, anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant!” (Mk 10:43). He tells them to avoid privileges and rivalry. He turns the system upside-down and stresses service as a means of overcoming personal ambition. Finally he gives his own life in witness of what he said: “The Son of man himself came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10:45).

Faith is a force that transforms people
The Good News of the Kingdom says that Jesus is like a fertilizer. He makes the seed of life grow in people, a seed hidden like fire under the embers of observance, lifeless. Jesus blows on the embers and the fire glows, the Kingdom is revealed and people rejoice. The condition is always the same: faith in Jesus.

When fear takes hold of a person, faith disappears and hope is extinguished. During his moment of torment, Jesus scolds his disciples for their lack of faith (Mk 4:40). They do not believe, because they are afraid (Mk 4:41). Jesus could not work miracles in Nazareth because people there did not believe (Mk 6:6). They did not believe because Jesus did not measure up to their ideas of how he should be (Mk 6:2-3). It is precisely lack of faith that prevents the disciples from driving out the “dumb spirit” who ill-treats a sick child (Mk 9:17). Jesus criticizes them: “Faithless generation!” (Mk 9:19). Then he tells them how to re-enkindle faith: “This is the kind that can only be driven by prayer” (Mk 9:29).

Jesus urged people to have faith in him and consequently created trust in others (Mk 5:34.36; 7:25-29; 9:23-29; 10:52; 12:34.41-44). Throughout Mark’s Gospel, faith in Jesus and in his word is like a force that transforms people. It enables people to have their sins forgiven (Mk 2:5), to overcome suffering (Mk 4:40), to have the power to heal and purify themselves (Mk 5:34). Faith obtains the victory over death, as when the twelve-year-old daughter of Jairus enkindles in her father faith in Jesus and his words (Mk 5:36). Faith makes Bartimaeus jump for joy: “Your faith has saved you!” (Mk 10:52) If you say to the mountain: “Be pulled up and thrown into the sea”, the mountain will fall into the sea, but one must not doubt in one’s heart (Mk 11:23-24). “Because all things are possible for those who believe!” (Mk 9:23).

“Have faith in God!” (Mk 11:22). Thanks to his words and actions, Jesus arouses in people a dormant force that people are not aware of possessing. This is what happens to Jairus (Mk 5:36), to the woman with the haemorrhage (Mk 5:34), to the father with an epileptic son (Mk 9:23-24), to the blind Bartimaeus (Mk 10:52), and to many other people because of their faith in Jesus they enabled a new life to grow in them and in others.

The healing of Bartimaeus (Mk 10:46-52) clarifies a very important aspect of Jesus’ long instruction to his disciples. Bartimaeus had called Jesus by his messianic title of “Son of David!” (Mk 10:47). Jesus did not like this title (Mk 12:35-37). But even though he called Jesus by a title that was not quite correct, Bartimaeus had faith and was healed! Not so Peter who no longer believed in the ideas of Jesus. Bartimaeus changed his idea, was converted, left everything behind and followed Jesus on his journey to Calvary! (Mk 10:52).

A full understanding of the following of Jesus is not obtained through theoretical instruction, but through a practical commitment, journeying with him along the way of service from Galilee to Jerusalem. Anyone who tries to hang on to Peter’s idea, that is, that of the glorious Messiah without the cross, will not understand Jesus and will never be truly a disciple. Anyone who wants to believe in Jesus and is willing “to give his/her life” (Mk 8:35), accept “to be last” (Mk 9:35), “drink the cup and carry the cross” (Mk 10:38), like Bartimaeus, even with ideas that are not entirely correct, will have the power “to follow Jesus along the way” (Mk 10:52). It is in the certainty of being able to walk with Jesus that we find the source of courage and the seed of the victory of the cross.

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Jude Thaddeus

Feast Day:  October 28
Patron Saint:  Armenia, lost causes, desperate situations, ibises, hospitals, St. Petersburg, Florida, Cotta Lucena City Quezon, Philippines, the Chicago Police Department, Clube de Regatas do Flamengo from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Sibalom, Antique, Philippines, Trece Martires City, Cavite, Philippines.

Saint Jude Thaddeus, the Apostle
Jude was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is generally identified with Thaddeus, and is also variously called Jude of James, Jude Thaddaeus, Judas Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus. He is sometimes identified with Jude, "brother of Jesus", but is clearly distinguished from Judas Iscariot, another disciple, the betrayer of Jesus.

The Armenian Apostolic Church honors Thaddeus along with Saint Bartholomew as its patron saints. In the Roman Catholic Church he is the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes.

Saint Jude's attribute is a club. He is also often shown in icons with a flame around his head. This represents his presence at Pentecost, when he received the Holy Spirit with the other apostles. Another common attribute is Jude holding an image of Jesus Christ, in the image of Edessa. In some instances he may be shown with a scroll or a book (the Epistle of Jude) or holding a carpenter's rule.

New Testament

Jude is clearly distinguished from Judas Iscariot, another disciple and later the betrayer of Jesus. Both "Jude" and "Judas" are translations of the name Ιούδας in the Greek original New Testament, which in turn is a Greek variant of Judah, a name which was common among Jews at the time. In most bibles in languages other than English and French, Jude and Judas are referred to by the same name.

"Jude of James" is only mentioned twice in the New Testament: in the lists of apostles in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13. The name by which Luke calls the Apostle, "Jude of James" is ambiguous as to the relationship of Jude to this James. Though such a construction sometimes connotated a relationship of father and son, it has been traditionally interpreted as "Jude, brother of James" (Luke 6:16) though Protestants (for instance, the New International Version translation) usually identify him as "Jude son of James".

The Gospel of John also once mentions a disciple called "Judas NOT Iscariot" (John 14:22). This is often accepted to be the same person as the apostle Jude,[1] though some scholars see the identification as uncertain.[2] In some Latin manuscripts of Matthew 10:3, he is called Judas the Zealot.

Possible identity with Thaddeus

In the comparable apostle-lists of Matthew 10:3 and Mark 3:18, Jude is omitted, but there is a Thaddeus (or in some manuscripts of Matthew 10:3, "Lebbaeus who was surnamed Thaddaeus") listed in his place. This has led many Christians since early times to harmonize the lists by positing a "Jude Thaddeus", known by either name. This is made plausible by the fact that "Thaddeus" seems to be a nickname (see Thaddeus). A further complication is the fact that the name "Judas" was tarnished by Judas Iscariot. It has been argued that for this reason it is unsurprising that Mark and Matthew refer to him by an alternate name.[3]

Some Biblical scholars reject this theory, however, holding that Jude and Thaddeus did not represent the same person.[4] Scholars have proposed alternate theories to explain the discrepancy: an unrecorded replacement of one for the other during the ministry of Jesus because of apostasy or death;[4] the possibility that "twelve" was a symbolic number and an estimation;[5] or simply that the names were not recorded perfectly by the early church.[6] Thaddeus the apostle is generally seen as a different person from Thaddeus of Edessa, one of the Seventy Disciples.

Brother of Jesus

Opinion is divided on whether Jude the apostle is the same as Jude, brother of Jesus, who is mentioned in Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55-57, and is the traditional author of the Epistle of Jude.[7] Some Catholics believe the two Judes are the same person,[8] while Protestants do not.[9]

Tradition and legend

Tradition holds that Saint Jude preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia and Libya. He is also said to have visited Beirut and Edessa, though the emissary of latter mission is also identified as Thaddeus of Edessa, one of the Seventy. The 14th-century writer Nicephorus Callistus makes Jude the bridegroom at the wedding at Cana.

The legend reports that St. Jude was born into a Jewish family in Paneas, a town in Galilee later rebuilt by the Romans and renamed Caesarea Philippi. In all probability he spoke both Greek and Aramaic, like almost all of his contemporaries in that area, and was a farmer by trade. According to the legend, St. Jude was a son of Clopas and his wife Mary, a sister of the Virgin Mary. Tradition has it that Jude's father, Clopas, was murdered because of his forthright and outspoken devotion to the risen Christ. After Mary's death, miracles were attributed to her intercession.

Although Saint Gregory the Illuminator is credited as the "Apostle to the Armenians", when he baptized King Tiridates III of Armenia in 301, converting the Armenians, the Apostles Jude and Bartholomew are traditionally believed to have been the first to bring Christianity to Armenia, and are therefore venerated as the patron saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Linked to this tradition is the Saint Thaddeus Monastery (now in northern Iran) and Saint Bartholomew Monastery (now in southeastern Turkey) which were both constructed in what was then Armenia.

Death and remains

According to the Armenian tradition, Saint Jude suffered martyrdom about 65 AD in Beirut, in the Roman province of Syria, together with the apostle Simon the Zealot, with whom he is usually connected. Their acts and martyrdom were recorded in an Acts of Simon and Jude that was among the collection of passions and legends traditionally associated with the legendary Abdias, bishop of Babylon, and said to have been translated into Latin by his disciple Tropaeus Africanus, according to the Golden Legend account of the saints.[10][11]

Sometime after his death, Saint Jude's body was brought from Beirut to Rome and placed in a crypt in St. Peter's Basilica which was visited by many devotees. Now his bones are in the left transcept of St. Peter's Basilica under the main altar of St. Joseph in one tomb with the remains of the apostel Simon the Zealot. According to another popular tradition, the remains of St. Jude were preserved in an Armenian monastery on an island in the northern part of Issyk-Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan at least until the mid-15th century. Later legends either deny that the remains are preserved there or claim that they were moved to a yet more desolate stronghold in the Pamir Mountains. Recent discovery of the ruins of what could be that monastery may put an end to the dispute.


Jude is traditionally depicted carrying the image of Jesus in his hand or close to his chest, betokening the legend of the Image of Edessa, recorded in apocryphal correspondence between Jesus and Abgar which is reproduced in Eusebius' History Ecclesiastica, I, xiii. Eusebius relates that King Abgar of Edessa (now Şanlıurfa in southeast Turkey) sent a letter to Jesus seeking a cure for an illness afflicting him. With the letter he sent his envoy Hannan, the keeper of the archives, offering his own home city to Jesus as a safe dwelling place. The envoy painted a likeness of Jesus with choice paints (or alternatively, impressed with Abgar's faith, Jesus pressed his face into a cloth and gave it to Hannan) to take to Abgar with his answer. Upon seeing Jesus' image, the king placed it with great honor in one of his palatial houses. After Christ's execution, Thomas the Apostle sent Jude to King Abgar and the king was cured. Astonished, he converted to Christianity, along with many of the people under his rule. Additionally, St. Jude is often depicted with a flame above his head, representing his presence at Pentecost, when he was said to have received the Holy Spirit with the other apostles.


The Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) began working in present day Armenia soon after their founding in 1216. There was a substantial devotion to St. Jude in this area at that time, by both Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians. This lasted until persecution drove Christians from the area in the 18th century. Devotion to Saint Jude began again in earnest in the 19th century, starting in Italy and Spain, spreading to South America, and finally to the United States (starting in the area around Chicago) owing to the influence of the Claretians and the Dominicans in the 1920s.

Saint Jude is the patron saint of the Chicago Police Department and of Clube de Regatas do Flamengo (a soccer team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). His other patronages include desperate situations and hospitals. One of his namesakes is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, which has helped many children with terminal illnesses and their families since its founding in 1962. His feast day is October 28 (Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Church) and June 19 (Eastern Orthodox Church).

In some daily newspapers people will place classified ads seeking the aid of St. Jude or thanking him for his intercession. It is also common to post prayer requests to St Jude on Catholic prayer request websites.


  • Igreja de São Judas Tadeu, São Paulo, Brazil
  • National Shrine in Faversham, Kent, UK
  • National Shrine of St. Jude, Chicago, IL
  • Dominican Shrine of St. Jude, Chicago, IL
  • Nationwide Center of St. Jude Devotions, Baltimore, MD
  • Dominican Monastery of Saint Jude in Marbury, AL
  • St. Jude Maronite Catholic Church in Orlando, FL
  • Shrine Church of St. Jude, Brooklyn, New York
  • Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus in San Francisco, CA
  • The Cathedral of St. Jude The Apostle in St. Petersburg, FL
  • The International Shrine of St. Jude in New Orleans, LA
  • St Jude's Catholic Church, Langwarrin, VIC, Australia
  • St Jude's Shrine, Jhansi-284 001, India
  • St.Jude's Shrine, Kattur, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • St. Jude Shrine, Thevara, Kerala,India - The first and oldest shrine in Kerala state
  • St. Jude's Shrine, Yoodhapuram, Angamaly, Kerala,India
  • St. Jude's Church, Ettekkar, Aluva, Kerala, India
  • St. Jude Pilgrim Shrine, Killippalam, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
  • St. Jude Shrine, Koothattukulam, Kerala,India
  • St. Jude Shrine, Kureekad, Chottanikkara, Kerala, India
  • St. Jude Church, S.L Puram, Cherthala, Alappuzha District, Kerala, India
  • St. Jude Shrine, Maruthimoodu, Pathanapuram Road, Adoor, Pathanamthitta District, Kerala
  • piligrim church,Snehagiri,Peringome,Kannur,Kerala
Sri Lanka
  • St Jude's Church Indigolla, Gampaha, Sri Lanka[12]
  • National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus,J.P. Laurel St. San Miguel,Manila
  • Saint Jude Catholic School (one of the most prestige schools in the Philippines)[13]
  • Cathedral of Saint Jude Thaddeus, Veñegas St. Sibalom, Antique, Philippines (Philippine Independent Church)
Puerto Rico
  • Santuario San Judas Tadeo (Sanctuary of St. Jude Thaddeus), Ponce, Puerto Rico


  1. ^ Commentary on John 14:22, Expositor's Bible Commentary CDROM, Zondervan, 1978
  2. ^ Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to Saint John volume 2, p. 641.
  3. ^ For instance Otto Harpan, in "The Apostle" (Sands, 1962), quoted at
  4. ^ a b John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew volume 3, pp 130-133, 200 ("Christian imagination was quick to harmonize and produce Jude Thaddeus, a conflation that has no basis in reality."); Rudolf Pesch, "Simon-Petrus. Geschichte und geschichtliche Bedeutung der ersten Juengers Jesu Christ", Paepste und Papsttum 15, Hiersmann, 1980. p.36.
  5. ^ E. P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism, Fortress Press, 1985. ISBN 0-334-02091-3. p.102
  6. ^ Joseph Fitzmyer, The Gospel according to Catherine Fournier, Saint Simon and Saint Jude Luke: Introduction, translation, and notes, Volume 2, The Anchor Bible, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981-1985. ISBN 0-385-00515-6. p.619-620
  7. ^ Jerome H. Neyrey, 2 Peter, Jude, Anchor Bible Reference Library, Doubleday, 1993. p.44-45.
  8. ^ The Brethren of the Lord, Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907
  9. ^ The situation is similar with James: Catholics tend to identify James the brother of Jesus with the apostle James, son of Alphaeus, but Protestants and Orthodox generally do not.
  10. ^ Golden Legend: Lives of Saints Simon and Jude
  11. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia: Apocrypha
  12. ^
  13. ^ Saint Jude Catholic School


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    Today's  Snippet:  Dominican Order

     The Order of Preachers (Latin: Ordo Praedicatorum), more commonly known after the 15th century as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Roman Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic de Guzman in France and approved by Pope Honorius III (1216–27) on 22 December 1216. Membership in the Order includes friars, nuns, active sisters, and lay or secular Dominicans (formerly known as tertiaries) affiliated with the Order.

    A number of other names have been used to refer to both the order and its members.
    • In England and other countries the Dominican friars are referred to as Black Friars because of the black cappa or cloak they wear over their white habits. Dominicans were Blackfriars, as opposed to Whitefriars (for example, the Carmelites) or Greyfriars (for example, Franciscans). They are also distinct from the Augustinian Friars (the Austin friars) who wear a similar habit.
    • In France, the Dominicans were known as Jacobins, because their convent in Paris was attached to the church of Saint Jacques, (St. James) Sanctus Jacobus in Latin.
    • Their identification as Dominicans gave rise to the pun that they were the Domini canes, or Hounds of the Lord.
    Members of the order generally carry the letters O.P. standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers, after their names.

    Founded to preach the Gospel and to combat heresy, the order is famed for its intellectual tradition, having produced many leading theologians and philosophers. The Dominican Order is headed by the Master of the Order, who is currently Father Bruno Cadoré.


    Like his contemporary, Francis of Assisi, Dominic saw the need for a new type of organization, and the quick growth of the Dominicans and Franciscans during their first century of existence confirms that the orders of mendicant friars met a need.

    He had accompanied as canon Diego de Acebo, Bishop of Osma on a diplomatic mission to Denmark, to arrange the marriage between the son of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and a niece of King Valdemar II of Denmark. At that time the south of France was the stronghold of the Cathar or Albigensian heresy, named after the Duke of Albi, a Cathar sympathiser and opponent to the subsequent Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229).

    The Albigensians, more commonly known as the Cathars, were a heretical gnostic sect, holding that matter was evil and only spirit was good; this was a fundamental challenge to the notion of incarnation, central to Roman Catholic theology. Dominic saw the need for a response that would attempt to sway members of the Albigensian movement back to mainstream Christian thought. The mendicant preacher emerged from this insight. Despite this particular mission, in winning the Albigensians over by persuasion Dominic met limited success, "for though in his ten years of preaching a large number of converts were made, it has to be said that the results were not such as had been hoped for."

    Dominic nevertheless became the spiritual father to several Albigensian women he had reconciled to the faith, and in 1206 he established them in a convent in Prouille. This convent would become the foundation of the Dominican nuns, thus making the Dominican nuns older than the Dominican friars.

    Dominic sought to establish a new kind of order, one that would bring the dedication and systematic education of the older monastic orders like the Benedictines to bear on the religious problems of the burgeoning population of cities, but with more organizational flexibility than either monastic orders or the secular clergy. Dominic's new order was to be a preaching order, trained to preach in the vernacular languages. Rather than earning their living on vast farms as the monasteries had done, the new friars would survive by begging, "selling" themselves through persuasive preaching.

    Saint Dominic established a religious community in Toulouse in 1214, to be governed by the rule of St. Augustine and statutes to govern the life of the friars, including the Primitive Constitution. (The statutes borrowed somewhat from the Constitutions of Prémontré.) The founding documents establish that the Order was founded for two purposes: preaching and the salvation of souls.

    The Order's origins in battling heterodoxy influenced its later development and reputation. Many later Dominicans battled heresy as part of their apostolate. Indeed, many years after St. Dominic reacted to the Cathars, the first Grand Inquistor of Spain, Tomás de Torquemada, would be drawn from the Dominican order.


    The history of the Order may be divided into three periods:
    • The Middle Ages (from their foundation to the beginning of the 16th century);
    • The Modern Period up to the French Revolution;
    • The Contemporary Period.


    Middle Ages

    St Thomas Aquinas
    The Order of Preachers was approved in December 1216 and January 1217 by Pope Honorius III in the papal bulls Religiosam vitam and Nos attendentes. On January 21, 1217 Honorious issued the bull Gratiarum omnium recognizing St. Dominic's followers as an Order dedicated to study and universally authorized to preach, a power formerly reserved to local episcopal authorization.

    On August 15, 1217 Dominic dispatched seven of his followers to the great university center of Paris to establish a priory focused on study and preaching. The Convent of St. Jacques, would eventually become the Order's first studium generale. Saint Dominic was to establish similar foundations at other university towns of the day, Bologna in 1218, Palencia and Montpellier in 1220, and Oxford just before his death in 1221.

    In 1219 Pope Honorius III invited Saint Dominic and his companions to taken up residence at the ancient Roman basilica of Santa Sabina, which they did by early 1220. Before that time the friars had only a temporary residence in Rome at the convent of San Sisto Vecchio which Honorius III had given to Dominic circa 1218 intending it to become a convent for a reformation of nuns at Rome under Dominic's guidance. In May 1220 at Bologna the Order's first General Chapter mandated that each new priory of the Order maintain its own studium conventuale thus laying the foundation of the Dominican tradition of sponsoring widespread institutions of learning. The official foundation of the Dominican convent at Santa Sabina with its studium conventuale occurred with the legal transfer of property from Honorius III to the Order of Preachers on June 5, 1222. This studium was transformed into the Order's first studium provinciale by Saint Thomas Aquinas in 1265. Part of the curriculum of this studium was relocated in 1288 at the studium of Santa Maria sopra Minerva which in the 16th century world be transformed into the College of Saint Thomas (Latin: Collegium Divi Thomæ). In the 20th century the college would be relocated to the convent of Saints Dominic and Sixtus and would be transformed into the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum.

    The Dominican friars quickly spread, including to England, where they appeared in Oxford in 1221. In the 13th century the order reached all classes of Christian society, fought heresy, schism, and paganism by word and book, and by its missions to the north of Europe, to Africa, and Asia passed beyond the frontiers of Christendom. Its schools spread throughout the entire Church; its doctors wrote monumental works in all branches of knowledge, including the extremely important Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. Its members included popes, cardinals, bishops, legates, inquisitors, confessors of princes, ambassadors, and paciarii (enforcers of the peace decreed by popes or councils). The order was appointed by Pope Gregory IX the duty to carry out the Inquisition. In his Papal Bull Ad extirpanda of 1252, Pope Innocent IV authorised the Dominicans' use of torture under prescribed circumstances.

    The expansion of the Order produced changes. A smaller emphasis on doctrinal activity favoured the development here and there of the ascetic and contemplative life and there sprang up, especially in Germany and Italy, the mystical movement with which the names of Meister Eckhart, Heinrich Suso, Johannes Tauler, and St. Catherine of Siena are associated. (See German mysticism, which has also been called "Dominican mysticism.") This movement was the prelude to the reforms undertaken, at the end of the century, by Raymond of Capua, and continued in the following century. It assumed remarkable proportions in the congregations of Lombardy and the Netherlands, and in the reforms of Savonarola at Florence.

    At the same time the Order found itself face to face with the Renaissance. It struggled against pagan tendencies in Renaissance humanism, in Italy through Dominici and Savonarola, in Germany through the theologians of Cologne but it also furnished humanism with such advanced writers as Francesco Colonna (probably the writer of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili) and Matteo Bandello. Many Dominicans took part in the artistic activity of the age, the most prominent being Fra Angelico and Fra Bartolomeo.

    Reformation to French Revolution

    Bartolomé de Las Casas (c1484-1566)
    Bartolomé de Las Casas, as a settler in the New World, was galvanized by witnessing the brutal torture and genocide of the Native Americans by the Spanish colonists. He became famous for his advocacy of the rights of Native Americans, whose cultures, especially in the Caribbean, he describes with care.

    Gaspar da Cruz (c. 1520–1570), who worked all over the Portuguese colonial empire in Asia, was probably the first Christian missionary to preach (unsuccessfully) in Cambodia. After a (similarly unsuccessful) stint in Guangzhou, China, he eventually returned to Portugal and became the first European to publish a book on China in 1569/1570.

    The modern period consists of the three centuries between the religious revolution at the beginning of the 16th century (the Protestant Reformation) and the French Revolution and its consequences. The beginning of the 16th century confronted the order with the upheavals of Revolution. The spread of Protestantism cost it six or seven provinces and several hundreds of convents, but the discovery of the New World opened up a fresh field of activity. In the 18th century, there were numerous attempts at reform, accompanied by a reduction in the number of devotees. The French Revolution ruined the order in France, and crises that more or less rapidly followed considerably lessened or wholly destroyed numerous provinces.

    19th century to present

    The contemporary period of the history of the Preachers begins with restorations in provinces, undertaken after revolutions destroyed the Order in several countries of the Old and New World. This period begins more or less in the early 19th century.

    During this critical period, the number of Preachers seems never to have sunk below 3,500. Statistics for 1876 show 3,748, but 500 of these had been expelled from their convents and were engaged in parochial work. Statistics for 1910 show a total of 4,472 nominally or actually engaged in proper activities of the Order. In the year 2000, there were 5,171 Dominican friars in solemn vows, 917 student brothers, and 237 novices. By the year 2010 there were 5,906 Dominican friars, including 4,456 priests. Their provinces cover the world, and include four provinces in the United States.

    In the revival movement France held a foremost place, owing to the reputation and convincing power of the orator, Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire (1802–1861). He took the habit of a Friar Preacher at Rome (1839), and the province of France was canonically erected in 1850. From this province were detached the province of Lyon, called Occitania (1862), that of Toulouse (1869), and that of Canada (1909). The French restoration likewise furnished many laborers to other provinces, to assist in their organization and progress. From it came the master general who remained longest at the head of the administration during the 19th century, Père Vincent Jandel (1850–1872). Here should be mentioned the province of St. Joseph in the United States. Founded in 1805 by Father Edward Fenwick, afterwards first Bishop of Cincinnati, Ohio (1821–1832), this province has developed slowly, but now ranks among the most flourishing and active provinces of the order. In 1910 it numbered seventeen convents or secondary houses. In 1905, it established a large house of studies at Washington, D.C., called the Dominican House of Studies. There are now four Dominican provinces in the United States.

    The province of France has produced a large number of preachers. The conferences of Notre-Dame-de-Paris were inaugurated by Père Lacordaire. The Dominicans of the province of France furnished Lacordaire (1835–1836, 1843–1851), Jacques Monsabré (1869–1870, 1872–1890), Joseph Ollivier (1871, 1897), Thomas Etourneau (1898–1902). Since 1903 the pulpit of Notre Dame has been occupied by a succession of Dominicans. Père Henri Didon (d. 1900) was a Dominican. The house of studies of the province of France publishes L'Année Dominicaine (founded 1859), La Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Theologiques (1907), and La Revue de la Jeunesse (1909). French Dominicans founded and administer the École Biblique et Archéologique française de Jérusalem founded in 1890 by Père Marie-Joseph Lagrange O.P. (1855–1938), one of the leading international centres for Biblical research. It is at the École Biblique that the famed Jerusalem Bible (both editions) was prepared. Likewise Yves Cardinal Congar, O.P. was a product of the French province of the Order of Preachers.

    Dominican in habit
    Doctrinal development has had an important place in the restoration of the Preachers. Several institutions, besides those already mentioned, played important parts. Such is the Biblical school at Jerusalem, open to the religious of the Order and to secular clerics, which publishes the Revue Biblique. The faculty of theology at the University of Fribourg, confided to the care of the Dominicans in 1890, is flourishing, and has about 250 students. The Collegium Angelicum, established at Rome (1911) by Master Hyacinth Cormier, is open to regulars and seculars for the study of the sacred sciences. In addition to the reviews above are the Revue Thomiste, founded by Père Thomas Coconnier (d. 1908), and the Analecta Ordinis Prædicatorum (1893). Among numerous writers of the order in this period are: Cardinals Thomas Zigliara (d. 1893) and Zephirin González (d. 1894), two esteemed philosophers; Father Alberto Guillelmotti (d. 1893), historian of the Pontifical Navy, and Father Heinrich Denifle, one of the most famous writers on medieval history (d. 1905).



    The Dominican nuns were founded by St. Dominic even before he had established the friars. They are contemplatives in the cloistered life. The Friars and Nuns together form the Order of Preachers properly speaking. The nuns celebrated their 800th anniversary in 2006.


    Dominican sisters carry on a number of apostolates. They are distinct from the nuns. The sisters are a way of living the vocation of a Third Order Dominican.  As well as the friars, Dominican sisters live their lives supported by four common values, often referred to as the Four Pillars of Dominican Life, they are: community life, common prayer, study and service. St. Dominic called this fourfold pattern of life the "holy preaching."Henri Matisse was so moved by the care that he received from the Dominican Sisters that he collaborated in the design and interior decoration of their Chapelle du Saint-Marie du Rosaire in Vence, France.


    Dominican laity are governed by their own rule, the Rule of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic, promulgated by the Master in 1987. It is the fifth Rule of the Dominican Laity; the first was issued in 1285. The two greatest saints among them are St. Catherine of Siena and St. Rose of Lima, who lived ascetic lives in their family homes, yet both had widespead influence in their societies.


    Dominican spirituality

    The spiritual tradition of Dominic's Order is punctuated not only by charity, study and preaching, but also by instances of mystical union. The Dominican emphasis on learning and on charity distinguishes it from other monastic and mendicant orders. As the Order first developed on the European continent, learning continued to be emphasized by these friars and their sisters in Christ. These religious also struggled for a deeply personal, intimate relationship with God. When the Order reached England, many of these attributes were kept, but the English gave the Order additional, specialized characteristics. This topic is discussed below.

    Dominic's search for a close relationship with God was determined and unceasing. He rarely spoke, so little of his interior life is known. What is known about it comes from accounts written by people near to him. St. Cecilia remembered him as cheerful, charitable and full of unceasing vigor. From a number of accounts, singing was apparently one of Dominic's great delights. Dominic practiced self-scourging and would mortify himself as he prayed alone in the chapel at night for 'poor sinners.' He owned a single habit, refused to carry money, and would allow no one to serve him.

    The spirituality evidenced throughout all of the branches of the Order reflects the spirit and intentions of its founder, though some of the elements of what later developed may have surprised the Castilian friar. Fundamentally, Dominic was "...a man of prayer who utilized the full resources of the learning available to him to preach, to teach, and even materially to assist those searching for the truth found in the gospel of Christ. It is that spirit which [Dominic] bequeathed to his followers".

    Bl. Humbert

    Humbert of Romans, the Master General of the Order from 1254 to 1263, was a great administrator, as well as preacher and writer. It was under his tenure as Master General that the sisters in the Order were given official membership. Humbert was a great lover of languages, and encouraged linguistic studies among the Dominicans, primarily Arabic, because of the missionary work friars were pursuing amongst those led astray or forced to convert by Mohammedans in the Middle East. He also wanted his friars to reach excellence in their preaching, and this was his most lasting contribution to the Order. The growth of the spirituality of young preachers was his first priority. He once cried to his students: ". . . consider how excellent this office [of preaching] is, because it is apostolic; how useful, because it is directly ordained for the salvation of souls; how perilous, because few have in them, or perform, what the office requires, for it is not without great danger. . . . Item, take note that this office calls for excellency of life, so that just as the preacher speaks from a raised position, so he may also preach the Gospel from the mountain of an excellent life"

    Humbert is at the center of ascetic writers in the Dominican Order. In this role, he added significantly to its spirituality. His writings are permeated with "religious good sense," and he used uncomplicated language that could edify even the weakest member. Humbert advised his readers, "[Young Dominicans] are also to be instructed not to be eager to see visions or work miracles, since these avail little to salvation, and sometimes we are fooled by them; but rather they should be eager to do good in which salvation consists. Also, they should be taught not to be sad if they do not enjoy the divine consolations they hear others have; but they should know the loving Father for some reason sometimes withholds these. Again, they should learn that if they lack the grace of compunction or devotion they should not think they are not in the state of grace as long as they have good will, which is all that God regards".

    The English Dominicans took this to heart, and made it the focal point of their mysticism, as seen below.

    Albertus Magnus

    Painting of Albertus Magnus (1206-1280) by Justus van Gent, ca. 1475.
    Another who contributed significantly to the spirituality of the Order is Albertus Magnus, the only person of the period to be given the appellation "Great". His influence on the brotherhood permeated nearly every aspect of Dominican life. Albert was a scientist, philosopher, theologian, spiritual writer, ecumenist, and diplomat. Under the auspices of Humbert of Romans, Albert molded the curriculum of studies for all Dominican students, introduced Aristotle to the classroom and probed the work of Neoplatonists, such as Plotinus. Indeed, it was the thirty years of work done by Thomas Aquinas and himself (1245–1274) that allowed for the inclusion of Aristotelian study in the curriculum of Dominican schools.

    One of Albert's greatest contributions was his study of Dionysus the Areopagite, a mystical theologian whose words left an indelible imprint in the medieval period. Magnus' writings made a significant contribution to German mysticism, which became vibrant in the minds of the Beguines and women such as Hildegard of Bingen and Mechthild of Magdeburg. Mysticism, for the purposes of this study, refers to the conviction that all believers have the capability to experience God's love. This love may manifest itself through brief ecstatic experiences, such that one may be engulfed by God and gain an immediate knowledge of Him, which is unknowable through the intellect alone.

    Albertus Magnus championed the idea, drawn from Dionysus, that positive knowledge of God is possible, but obscure. Thus, it is easier to state what God is not, than to state what God is: ". . . we affirm things of God only relatively, that is, casually, whereas we deny things of God absolutely, that is, with reference to what He is in Himself. And there is no contradiction between a relative affirmation and an absolute negation. It is not contradictory to say that someone is white-toothed and not white".

    Albert the Great wrote that wisdom and understanding enhance one's faith in God. According to him, these are the tools that God uses to commune with a contemplative. Love in the soul is both the cause and result of true understanding and judgement. It causes not only an intellectual knowledge of God, but a spiritual and emotional knowledge as well. Contemplation is the means whereby one can obtain this goal of understanding. Things that once seemed static and unchanging become full of possibility and perfection. The contemplative then knows that God is, but she does not know what God is. Thus, contemplation forever produces a mystified, imperfect knowledge of God. The soul is exalted beyond the rest of God's creation but it cannot see God Himself.

    Charity and meekness

    As the image of God grows within man, he learns to rely less on an intellectual pursuit of virtue and more on an affective pursuit of charity and meekness. Meekness and charity guide Christians to acknowledge that they are nothing without the One (God/Christ) who created them, sustains them, and guides them. Thus, man then directs his path to that One, and the love for, and of, Christ guides man's very nature to become centered on the One, and on his neighbor as well. Charity is the manifestation of the pure love of Christ, both for and by His follower.

    Although the ultimate attainment for this type of mysticism is union with God, it is not necessarily visionary, nor does it hope only for ecstatic experiences; instead, mystical life is successful if it is imbued with charity. The goal is just as much to become like Christ as it is to become one with Him. Those who believe in Christ should first have faith in Him without becoming engaged in such overwhelming phenomena.

    The Dominican Order was affected by a number of elemental influences. Its early members imbued the order with a mysticism and learning. The Europeans of the Order embraced ecstatic mysticism on a grand scale and looked to a union with the Creator. The English Dominicans looked for this complete unity as well, but were not so focused on ecstatic experiences. Instead, their goal was to emulate the moral life of Christ more completely. The Dartford nuns were surrounded by all of these legacies, and used them to create something unique. Though they are not called mystics, they are known for their piety toward God and their determination to live lives devoted to, and in emulation of, Him.

    Dartford Priory was established long after the primary period of monastic foundation in England had ended. It emulated, then, the monasteries found in Europe—mainly France and German—as well as the monastic traditions of their English Dominican brothers. As already stated, the first nuns to inhabit Dartford were sent from Poissy Priory in France.

    Evidence for the strength of the English Dominican nuns' vocation is strong itself. Even on the eve of the Dissolution, Prioress Jane Vane wrote to Cromwell on behalf of a postulant, saying that though she had not actually been professed, she was professed in her heart and in the eyes of God. This is only one such example of dedication. Profession in Dartford Priory seems, then, to have been made based on personal commitment, and one's personal association with God.


    Throughout the centuries, the Holy Rosary has been an important element among the Dominicans. Pope Pius XI stated that:
    The Rosary of Mary is the principle and foundation on which the very Order of Saint Dominic rests for making perfect the life of its members and obtaining the salvation of others.
    Histories of the Holy Rosary often attribute its origin to Saint Dominic himself through the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady of the Rosary is the title received by the Marian apparition to Saint Dominic in 1208 in the church of Prouille in which the Virgin Mary gave the Rosary to him. For centuries, Dominicans have been instrumental in spreading the rosary and emphasizing the Catholic belief in the power of the rosary. On January 1, 2008, the Master of the Order declared a year of dedication to the Rosary.

    Missionary activity of the Dominicans

    The Dominican Order came into being in the Middle Ages at a time when religion began to be contemplated in a new way. Men who gave themselves and their souls completely into the keeping of God were no longer expected to stay behind the walls of a cloister. Instead, they traveled among the people, taking as their examples the apostles of the primitive Church. Out of this ideal emerged two orders of mendicant friars: one, the Friars Minor, was led by Francis of Assisi; the other, the Friars Preachers, by Dominic of Guzman.

    The man who established the Dominican Order offered his followers a lofty and abiding cause. Dominic inspired his followers with loyalty to learning and virtue, a deep recognition of the spiritual power of worldly deprivation and the religious state, and a highly developed governmental structure. He also produced a group of people who succeeded in converting Albigensians to the orthodox faith. At the same time, Dominic inspired the members of his Order to develop a "mixed" spirituality. They were both active in preaching, and contemplative in study, prayer and meditation. The brethren of the Dominican Order were urban and learned, as well as contemplative and mystical in their spirituality. While these traits had an impact on the women of the Order, the nuns especially absorbed the latter characteristics and made those characteristics their own. In England, the Dominican nuns blended these elements with the defining characteristics of English Dominican spirituality and created a spirituality and collective personality that set them apart.

    St. Dominic

    Saint Dominic (1170-1221), portrait by El Greco, 1586-90.
    As the father of the Order of Preachers, Dominic had a lasting influence on a group of people who sought to fulfill his ideals. As a young adolescent, he had a particular love of theology and the Scriptures became the foundation of his spirituality. Dominic studied in Palencia for a decade and maintained a dedication to purpose and a self-sacrificing attitude that caused the poor of the city to love him. During his sojourn in Palencia, Spain experienced a dreadful famine, prompting Dominic to sell all of his beloved books and other equipment to help his neighbors.

    Dominic was also noticed by important members of the religious community of Spain. After he completed his studies, Bishop Martin Bazan and Prior Diego d'Achebes appointed Dominic to the cathedral chapter and he became a regular canon under the Rule of St. Augustine and the Constitutions for the cathedral church of Osma. At the age of twenty-four or twenty-five, he was ordained to the priesthood.

    In the spring of 1203, Dominic joined Prior Diego on an embassy to Denmark for the monarchy of Spain. Dominic was fired by a reforming zeal after they encountered Albigensian Christians at Toulouse. He set about reconverting the region to Roman Christianity. On the return trip to Spain, the two brethren met with a group of papal legates who were determined to triumph over the Manichean menace. Prior Diego saw immediately one of the paramount reasons for the spread of the unorthodox movement: the representatives of the Holy Church acted and moved with an offensive amount of pomp and ceremony. On the other hand, the Cathars lived in a state of apostolic self-sacrifice that was widely appealing. For these reasons, Prior Diego suggested that the papal legates begin to live a reformed apostolic life. The legates agreed to change if they could find a strong leader. The prior took up the challenge, and he and Dominic dedicated themselves to the conversion of the Albigensians.

    Dominican convent established

    As time passed, Prior Diego sanctioned the building of a monastery for girls whose parents had sent them to the care of the Albigensians because their families were too poor to fulfill their basic needs. The monastery was at Prouille and would later become Dominic's headquarters for his missionary effort there. Prior Diego died, after two years in the mission field, on his return trip to Spain. When his preaching companions heard of his death, all save Dominic and a very small number of others returned to their homes.

    Founding of the Order of Preachers

    In July 1215, with the approbation of Bishop Foulques of Toulouse, Dominic ordered his followers into an institutional life. Its purpose was revolutionary in the pastoral ministry of the Catholic Church. These priests were organized and well trained in religious studies. Many men influenced the shape and character of the Dominican Order, but it was Dominic himself who combined the available components into a vital and vigorous, whole existence. Dominic needed a framework—a rule—to organize these components. The Rule of St. Augustine was an obvious choice for the Dominican Order, according to Dominic's successor, Jordan of Saxony, because it lent itself to the "salvation of souls through preaching". By this choice, however, the Dominican brothers designated themselves not monks, but canons-regular. They could practice ministry and common life while existing in individual poverty.

    Dominic's education at Palencia gave him the knowledge he needed to overcome the Manicheans. With charity, the other concept that most defines the work and spirituality of the Order, study became the method most used by the Dominicans in working to defend the Church against the perils that hounded it, and also of enlarging its authority over larger areas of the known world. In Dominic's thinking, it was impossible for men to preach what they did not or could not understand. When the brethren left Prouille, then, to begin their apostolic work, Dominic sent Matthew of Paris to establish a school near the University of Paris. This was the first of many Dominican schools established by the brethren, some near large universities throughout Europe.


    By 1300, the enthusiasm for preaching and conversion within the Order lessened. Mysticism, full of the ideas Albertus Magnus expostulated, became the devotion of the greatest minds and hands within the organization. It became a "powerful instrument of personal and theological transformation both within the Order of Preachers and throughout the wider reaches of Christendom.

    Although Albertus Magnus did much to instill mysticism in the Order of Preachers, it is a concept that reaches back to the Hebrew Bible. In the tradition of Holy Writ, the impossibility of coming face to face with God is a recurring motif, thus the commandment against graven images (Exodus 20.4-5). As time passed, Jewish and early Christian writings presented the idea of 'unknowing,' where God's presence was enveloped in a dark cloud. These images arose out of a confusing mass of ambiguous and ambivalent statements regarding the nature of God and man's relationship to Him.

    Other passages attest to the opposite circumstance: that of seeing God and talking with Him. Obviously, the conflict between seeing and not-seeing exists in early texts as well as later ones. It also permeates the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. The consequence is a paradox that emerges repeatedly throughout Christian Scripture and the mysticism found in the early foundations of the Church.

    All of these ideas associated with mysticism were at play in the spirituality of the Dominican community, and not only among the men. In Europe, in fact, it was often the female members of the Order, such as Catherine of Siena, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Christine of Stommeln, Margaret Ebner, and Elsbet Stagl, that gained reputations for having mystical experiences. Notable male members of the Order associated with mysticism include Meister Eckhart and Henry Suso.


    Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), portrait by Andrea Vanni, late 14th or early 15th century.
    Although Dominic and the early brethren had instituted female Dominican houses at Prouille and other places by 1227, some of the brethren of the Order had misgivings about the necessity of female religious establishments in an Order whose major purpose was preaching, a duty in which women could not traditionally engage. In spite of these doubts, women's houses dotted the countryside throughout Europe. There were seventy-four Dominican female houses in Germany, forty-two in Italy, nine in France, eight in Spain, six in Bohemia, three in Hungary, and three in Poland. Many of the German religious houses that lodged women had been home to communities of women, such as Beguines, that became Dominican once they were taught by the traveling preachers and put under the jurisdiction of the Dominican authoritative structure. A number of these houses became centers of study and mystical spirituality in the 14th century. There were one hundred and fifty-seven nunneries in the Order by 1358. In that year, the number lessened due to disasters like the Black Death.

    In places besides Germany, convents were founded as retreats from the world for women of the upper classes. These were original projects funded by wealthy patrons, including other women. Among these was Countess Margaret of Flanders who established the monastery of Lille, while Val-Duchesse at Oudergern near Brussels was built with the wealth of Adelaide of Burgundy, Duchess of Brabant (1262).

    Female houses differed from male Dominican houses in a lack of apostolic work for the women. Instead, the sisters chanted the Divine Office and kept all the monastic observances. Their lives were often much more strict than their brothers' lives. The sisters had no government of their own, but lived under the authority of the general and provincial chapters of the Order. They were compelled to obey all the rules and shared in all the applicable privileges of the Order. Like the Priory of Dartford, all Dominican nunneries were under the jurisdiction of friars. The friars served as their confessors, priests, teachers and spiritual mentors.

    Dominican martyrs killed by Mongols during the second Mongol invasion of Poland in 1260.
    Women could not be professed to the Dominican religious life before the age of thirteen. The formula for profession contained in the Constitutions of Montargis Priory (1250) demands that nuns pledge obedience to God, the Blessed Virgin, their prioress and her successors according to the Rule of St. Augustine and the institute of the Order, until death. The clothing of the sisters consisted of a white tunic and scapular, a leather belt, a black mantle, and a black veil. Candidates to profession were tested to reveal whether they were actually married women who had merely separated from their husbands. Their intellectual abilities were also tested. Nuns were to be silent in places of prayer, the cloister, the dormitory, and refectory. Silence was maintained unless the prioress granted an exception for a specific cause. Speaking was allowed in the common parlor, but it was subordinate to strict rules, and the prioress, subprioress or other senior nun had to be present.
    Because the nuns of the Order did not preach among the people, the need to engage in study was not as immediate or intense as it was for men. They did participate, however, in a number of intellectual activities. Along with sewing and embroidery, nuns often engaged in reading and discussing correspondence from Church leaders. In the Strassburg monastery of St. Margaret, some of the nuns could converse fluently in Latin. Learning still had an elevated place in the lives of these religious. In fact, Margarette Reglerin, a daughter of a wealthy Nuremberg family, was dismissed from a convent because she did not have the ability or will to learn.

    As heirs of the Dominican priory of Poissy in France, the Dartford sisters were also heirs to a tradition of profound learning and piety. Sections of translations of spiritual writings in Dartford's library, such as Suso's Little Book of Eternal Wisdom and Laurent du Bois' La Somme le Roi, show that the "ghoostli" link to Europe was not lost in the crossing of the Channel. It survived in the minds of the nuns. Also, the nuns shared a unique identity with Poissy as a religious house founded by a royal house. The English nuns were proud of this heritage, and aware that many of them shared in England's great history as members of the noble class, as seen in the next chapter.

    Devotion to the Virgin Mary was another very important aspect of Dominican spirituality, especially for female members. As an Order, the Dominicans believed that they were established through the good graces of Christ's mother, and through prayers she sent missionaries to save the souls of nonbelievers. All Dominicans sang the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin each day and saluted her as their advocate.

    English Province

    In England, the Dominican Province began at the second general chapter of the Dominican Order in Bologna during the spring of 1221. Dominic dispatched twelve friars to England under the guidance of their English prior, Gilbert of Fresney. They landed in Dover on August 5, 1221. The province officially came into being at its first provincial chapter in 1230.

    The English Province was a component of the international Order from which it obtained its laws, direction, and instructions. It was also, however, a group of Englishmen. Its direct supervisors were from England, and the members of the English Province dwelt and labored in English cities, towns, villages, and roadways. English and European ingredients constantly came in contact. The international side of the province's existence influenced the national, and the national responded to, adapted, and sometimes constrained the international.

    The first Dominican site in England was at Oxford, in the parishes of St. Edward and St. Adelaide. The friars built an oratory to the Blessed Virgin Mary and by 1265, the brethren, in keeping with their devotion to study, began erecting a school. Actually, the Dominican brothers likely began a school immediately after their arrival, as priories were legally schools. Information about the schools of the English Province is limited, but a few facts are known. Much of the information available is taken from visitation records. The "visitation" was a section of the province through which visitors to each priory could describe the state of its religious life and its studies to the next chapter. There were four such visits in England and Wales—Oxford, London, Cambridge and York. All Dominican students were required to learn grammar, old and new logic, natural philosophy and theology. Of all of the curricular areas, however, theology was the most important. This is not surprising when one remembers Dominic's zeal for it.

    English Dominican mysticism in the late medieval period differed from European strands of it in that, whereas European Dominican mysticism tended to concentrate on ecstatic experiences of union with the divine, English Dominican mysticism's ultimate focus was on a crucial dynamic in one's personal relationship with God. This was an essential moral imitation of the Savior as an ideal for religious change, and as the means for reformation of humanity's nature as an image of divinity. This type of mysticism carried with it four elements. First, spiritually it emulated the moral essence of Christ's life. Second, there was a connection linking moral emulation of Christ's life and humanity's disposition as images of the divine. Third, English Dominican mysticism focused on an embodied spirituality with a structured love of fellow men at its center. Finally, the supreme aspiration of this mysticism was either an ethical or an actual union with God.

    For English Dominican mystics, the mystical experience was not expressed just in one moment of the full knowledge of God, but in the journey of, or process of, faith. This then led to an understanding that was directed toward an experiential knowledge of divinity. It is important to understand, however, that for these mystics it was possible to pursue mystical life without the visions and voices that are usually associated with such a relationship with God. They experienced a mystical process that allowed them, in the end, to experience what they had already gained knowledge of through their faith only.

    The center of all mystical experience is, of course, Christ. English Dominicans sought to gain a full knowledge of Christ through an imitation of His life. English mystics of all types tended to focus on the moral values that the events in Christ's life exemplified. This led to a "progressive understanding of the meanings of Scripture--literal, moral, allegorical, and anagogical"--that was contained within the mystical journey itself. From these considerations of Scripture comes the simplest way to imitate Christ: an emulation of the moral actions and attitudes that Jesus demonstrated in His earthly ministry becomes the most significant way to feel and have knowledge of God.

    The English concentrated on the spirit of the events of Christ's life, not the literality of events. They neither expected nor sought the appearance of the stigmata or any other physical manifestation. They wanted to create in themselves that environment that allowed Jesus to fulfill His divine mission, insofar as they were able. At the center of this environment was love: the love that Christ showed for humanity in becoming human. Christ's love reveals the mercy of God and His care for His creation. English Dominican mystics sought through this love to become images of God. Love led to spiritual growth that, in turn, reflected an increase in love for God and humanity. This increase in universal love allowed men's wills to conform to God's will, just as Christ's will submitted to the Father's will.

    Concerning humanity as the image of Christ, English Dominican spirituality concentrated on the moral implications of image-bearing rather than the philosophical foundations of the imago Dei. The process of Christ's life, and the process of image-bearing, amends humanity to God's image. The idea of the "image of God" demonstrates both the ability of man to move toward God (as partakers in Christ's redeeming sacrifice), and that, on some level, man is always an image of God. As their love and knowledge of God grows and is sanctified by faith and experience, the image of God within man becomes ever more bright and clear.


    • Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare
      To praise, to bless and to preach
      (from the Dominican Missal, Preface of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
    • Veritas
    • Contemplare et Contemplata Aliis Tradere
      To study and to hand on the fruits of study (or, to contemplate and to hand on the fruits of contemplation)

    Famous Dominicans

    The following people belonging to the Order have been proclaimed saints throughout history:

    Death of Peter of Verona (1206-1252) by Girolamo Savoldo, ca. 1530-35

    Louis Bertrand (1526-1581), portrait by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1640

    Francisco Coll Guitart (1812-1875)
    • St. Dominic (d. 1221)
    • St. Peter Martyr (d. 1252)
    • St. Zedislava Berkiana (d. 1252)
    • St. Hyacinth (d. 1257)
    • St. Margaret of Hungary (d. 1271)
    • St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274)
    • St. Raymond of Peñafort (d. 1275)
    • St. Albert the Great (d. 1280)
    • St. Agnes of Montepulciano (d. 1317)
    • St. Catherine of Siena (d. 1380)
    • St. Vincent Ferrer (d. 1419)
    • St. Antoninus (d. 1459)
    • St. Alanus de Rupe (d. 1475)
    • Tomás de Torquemada (d. 1498)
    • Pope St. Pius V (d. 1572)
    • St. Louis Bertrand (d. 1581)
    • St. Catherine de Ricci (d. 1590)
    • St. Rose of Lima (d. 1617)
    • St. Martin de Porres (d. 1639)
    • St. John Macias (d. 1645)
    • Thomasian Martyrs (Asia and Spain, 17th and 18th centuries)
    • St. Louis de Montfort (d. 1716)
    • St. Francisco Coll Guitart (d. 1875)
    • St. John of Cologne (d. 1600)

    Numerous Dominicans were included in the canonization of the 117 martyrs of Vietnam and a group of martyrs in Nagasaki, including St. Lorenzo Ruiz. Numerous Dominicans have been beatified, including:

    • Blessed Jordan of Saxony
    • Blessed Peter González
    • Blessed Margaret of Castello
    • Blessed Sadok and 48 Dominican martyrs from Sandomierz
    • Blessed Ceslaus, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
    • Blessed Henry Suso
    • Blessed Fra Angelico
    • Pope Blessed Innocent V
    • Pope Blessed Benedict XI
    • Blessed Reginald of Orleans
    • Blessed Jan Franciszek Czartoryski
    Four Dominican friars have served as Bishop of Rome:
    • Pope Innocent V
    • Pope Benedict XI
    • Pope St. Pius V
    • Pope Benedict XIII
    As of 2012, there are three Dominicans in the College of Cardinals
    • Georges Marie Martin Cardinal Cottier (Theologian emeritus of the Pontifical Household; he is over 80 and therefore won't be able to participate in any future Conclave)
    • Christoph Cardinal Schönborn (Archbishop of Vienna)
    • Dominik Duka, O.P. (Archbishop of Prague)
    Other famous Dominicans include:
    • Gabriel Barletta
    • Giordano Bruno
    • Francisco de Vitoria (one of the founders of International Law)
    • Bartolomé de las Casas
    • Nicholas Eymerich
    • Bernard Gui
    • Jeanine Deckers, "The Singing Nun"


        • Tugwell, Simon, ed. (1982). Early Dominicans : selected writings. Classics of Western Spirituality. London: SPCK. ISBN 0-281-04024-9.