The Power in the Litany of Dominican Saints

Picture: 
Dominican Saints
Body: 

What are we up to now? Well, really, nothing we haven’t been doing…praying! But this time Dominicans all over the world received the invitation we have been waiting for: to pray for the success of the full reconciliation of the Society of Pius X with Rome.

If you read the interview of our brother, Archbishop DiNoia, OP you might have missed the last question and answer:

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about reconciliation?

I’m neither; I just don’t know. I think it will be an act of grace.

In fact, I’m going to ask the Dominicans to start praying. I hope it’ll happen. The Pope doesn’t want this to continue — another sect, another division.

So, it wasn’t much of a surprise when we received a communication from the Archbishop via the Provincial’s office to pray the Litany of Dominican Saints and Blesseds especially this week when the SSPX is having their Chapter. We were encouraged to pray it in the months ahead!

The Dominican Litany is long and it gets longer every year! It was much shorter when it was first prayed in 1254! It continues to be a powerful prayer, as we ask the intercession of our brothers and sisters in heaven!

The lay Dominicans have this on their site:

Innocent IV (born around 1200 and Pope from June 25, 1243) became a foe of the Order when the Dominican community in Genoa, the Pope’s home town, would not give him their Priory and its land for a castle he wanted to build there to protect his relatives from his enemies. Angered by what he considered to be Dominican ingratitude in the face of favors he had granted the Order, Innocent now acceded to the long standing demands of some of the secular clergy who were upset by the Friars’ popularity in the pastoral ministry, in preaching, and in university teaching.

Thus on May 10, 1254, the Pope placed some restrictions on the apostolate of the Dominicans in the French town of Saint-Quentin, and then began limiting the activities of the Other French Priories. On June 4 he in effect expelled the Dominican professors from the University of Paris. This new animosity on the part of the Supreme Pontiff frightened the Friars, who began to say the Litany of the Saints for a deliverance from what they saw as the impending suppression of the whole Order.

On Nov. 21, 1254, Innocent IV signed a decree rescinding all the privileges of the Order of Preachers, and instead forbidding all Dominicans to receive any lay person in their churches on Sundays and Holidays, to preach in their churches on other days before the Solemn Mass in the local diocesan parish church, to preach in an episcopal town if the bishop was to preach there that day, and to hear anyone’s confession without the permission of the penitent’s pastor. A Cardinal who supported the Pope in this affair had even further restriction to suggest to Innocent.

On the day the latter signed the aforementioned decree, the said Cardinal tumbled down some stairs and shortly thereafter died of the injuries. The Pope himself, on that very same day, Nov. 21, 1254, after signing the decree, suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed. Sixteen days later, On Dec. 7, 1254, Pope Innocent IV died. The new Pope, Alexander IV, restored all its privileges to the Order on Dec. 22, 1254, thirty-one days after their suppression and on the 38th anniversary of the Order’s approval by Honorius III on Dec. 22, 1216.

As a result of the foregoing, the saying arose, “Beware the Litanies of the Dominicans.”

This Litany is therefore recommended as a Novena in especially critical circumstances.

If you would like to join us in praying for this intention you can download a pdf file of the Litany HERE.

It’s missing a few new blesseds but they will understand!