August 21, 2022: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time - Pastor’s Corner
This coming year, we will celebrate the sesquicentennial of St. Dominic’s Parish. In light of this coming celebration, over the course of the next month, I want to highlight the life story of our founder St. Dominic. Even though he is our patron, I am often surprised how little known and studied the life of St. Dominic is when compared to Saints like Francis and even other Dominicans such as St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Catherine. So, I hope this series on the life of St. Dominic’s is both an introduction to his life and an encouragement to further inquiry!
Story of St. Dominic: Part VI
St. Dominic died at Bologna, August 6, 1221, at midday. Fr Ventura, Prior of Bologna, was present and from him we have a detailed account of St. Dominic’s last days. Fr Ventura recounts: “Father Dominic returned from Venice about the end of July. Although very weary with traveling, he conversed on the affairs of the Order with me till late. I begged him to rest that night, but he prayed in the church till Matins at midnight, and then was present in choir. Afterwards he complained of his head, and his last illness began. Lying on a straw mattress, he called the novices around him and exhorted them to fervor with cheerful words and smiling countenance.
After being carried to a hill not far off, for better air, he preached to his brethren and was then anointed. Fearing that he would not be buried ‘under the feet of his brethren,’ he was carried back to the convent. There, having assured his spiritual children that he would be of greater assistance where he was going, he left them his last will and testament: ‘Behold, my children, the heritage I leave you: have charity for one another, guard humility, make your treasure out of voluntary poverty.’ After this, the brethren recited prayers for a departing soul. When they came to the words, ‘Come to his help, ye saints of God; hasten to meet him, ye angels of the Lord: receive his soul, and offer it in the sight of the Most High,’ having lifted his hands to Heaven, he gave up his spirit.”
Next week, in our final chapter of St. Dominic’s story, I will share how Dominic’s spirit continues in the life of his Order. I will also recommend some good books for learning more about our powerful patron.
~ Fr. Michael