May 16, 2020
In the month of the rosary we should be especially proud of our window showing St. Dominic receiving the rosary from the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus. I love this window because of a detail you do not see in all the images of St. Dominic receiving the rosary. Here the Child Jesus in the arms of Mary offers the rosary to the saint. Mary prays the rosary with us. She is asked to do so in each Hail Mary. However, the rosary really is about Jesus and the way He saved us. In all of the mysteries it is the action of Christ that is emphasized. That is true even with the mysteries of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother to heaven and her coronation as our queen. Christ carried her to heaven and He Himself crowned her faith and love with His grace.
The tomb of St. Dominic is in Bologna, Italy and I visited his basilica there. It is a beautiful church and the altar where he is buried has, according to legend, an angel carved by Michelangelo who was then an apprentice to the sculptor commissioned to make the altar.
This window of ours has a detail that is very interesting, too. In one corner of the stained glass we see a dog holding a torch. That is a symbol of the Dominican Order and really involves a pun in Latin. The proper name of the religious movement founded by St. Dominic is the Order of Preachers. That is why priests and nuns of the order have the abbreviation O.P. after their name. For years, Dominican nuns taught at parishes near here, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Lawrence schools had Dominican sisters teaching there. In Latin, however, Dominicanes is the nickname of the Order of Preachers. That name can taken apart as Domini, which means "of the Lord" and canes, "dogs" (remember Cave Canem from the cartoons? It means beware of the dog). Dominicanes thus means the dogs of the Lord. That is why we have the pooch at the knees of St. Dominic. The dog has a torch because he represents the preachers of the word of God which is the light of the world.
The Dominican Order emphasized the rosary in all its apostolates. I had a teacher of that Order in the seminary, Father Justin Hennessey, and he said that every province of the order of priests had a friar dedicated to promoting the rosary devotion. St. Louis de Montfort was a Third Order Dominican. Closer to home, Bishop Richard Lennon was also of the Third Order of Preachers because he admired the charisms and the learning of the Dominicans. I gave him a book about St. Thomas Aquinas once as a gift.
All of this is general information but illustrates how much there is to know about our faith and how many details can help us grow in devotion. Our faith grows with a Catholic culture. The word culture evokes the idea of learning but is should make us think of "cultivating" because that is what we should do to develop the potential of our minds to know God and the things of God more.
Enough said. Now go and say a rosary. Our parish was originally named Holy Rosary. The window I have have talking about was given by the Holy Rosary Society of our parish. Saying the rosary is part of our heritage. God bless you.