The 8th centenary of St. Dominic’s Easter has multiplied our joy with the message that Pope Francis has addressed to the Master of the Order. I would like to express my gratitude using the words of O Lumen, the antiphon that the Dominican Family sings in celebration of the Saint from Caleruega.

Light of the Church: Dominic wanted to live and die in medio Ecclesiae. His gaze, heart and preaching manifested this luminous tenor by fostering missionary communion, uniting charism and hierarchy in the desire to reach out to all through a truly apostolic life.

Doctor of Truth: The letter invites us – as Our Father did – to love the Truth as one loves a person. The Good News of Jesus Christ removes all temptation to “have” the truth and helps us to understand the height, breadth, length and depth of the misericordia veritatis (mercy of truth) that embraces us.

An example of patience: The life of the Order is inspired to praise, bless and preach God’s work in creation and salvation history. The mystery of the Incarnation leads to generating processes through attraction – proper to friendship – and not from proselytism or the imperatives of “power”. This generates a deep, dynamic, open, missionary communion and encourages participation, dialogue and listening: we are Fratelli tutti!

Ideal of chastity: Eyes, hearts and mouths, impassioned by the Word, nourish the desire to be missionary disciples on a shared, synodal journey. Instead, we sometimes notice the worldly temptation to want to “possess” people, to control them, to manipulate them, trampling on their conscience under the mere appearance of an alleged purity.

You gave us the water of Wisdom to drink: Wisdom always invites us to “distinguish in order to unite”. Thus we want that study and preaching to be useful to all brothers and sisters. Even in crises, may they promote unity that prevails over conflict; may they be open to the reality, more important than the idea; may they recognise that the whole is superior to the part. This is an inheritance that Dominic has left to his sons and daughters (Albert, Thomas, Catherine, Rose and so many others!).

Preacher of grace: Holiness – God’s gift – is revealed in friendship with Him and with each other. We seek to live it in awareness of its two subtle enemies: Gnosticism and Pelagianism (self-referential and narcissistic), which can lead us into a mediocre, watered-down, liquefied existence.

Unite us to the saints: This is what we ask for, because the ultimate goal of the human being is blessedness: the fruit of a choice on the part of God who has predestined us to be holy and blameless before Him through love.

Thank you, “Sweet Christ on earth” – as St. Catherine of Siena used to call the Successor of Peter – for reminding us of this ecclesial vocation.

Bahía Blanca, 24 May, 2021
Memorial of the Translation of Saint Dominic

+ Brother Carlos A. Azpiroz Costa, O.P.
Master of the Order, 2001-2010


Read other reactions to Prædicator Gratiæ: Letter of the Holy Father to the Master of the Order of Preachers for the 8th Centenary of the death of St. Dominic of Caleruega

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