Friday, August 8, 2008

Saint Dominic *1170, †1221

El Greco. Saint Dominic in Prayer. c.1590. Madrid.
Dominique by The Singing Nun, Souer Luc-Gabrielle, Jeanine Deckers
Dominique, nique, nique
S’en allait tout simplement,
Routier pauvre et chantant
En tous chemins, en tous lieux
Il ne parle que du bon Dieu,
Il ne parle que du bon Dieu.

A l’époque où Jean-Sans-Terre
D’Angleterre était roi,
Dominique, notre père,
Combattit les Albigeois.

Certain jour un hérétique
Par des ronces le conduit,
Mais notre Père Dominique
Par sa joie le convertit.

Ni chameau, ni diligence,
Il parcourt l’Europe à pied.
Scandinavie ou Provence
Dans la sainte pauvreté.

Enflamma de toute écoles
Filles et garçons pleins d'ardeur,
Et pour semer la Parole
Inventa les Frères Prêcheurs.

Chez Dominique et Ses Frères
Le pain s’en vint à manquer
Et deux anges se présentèrent,
Portant deux grands pains dorés.

Dominique vit en rêve
Les prêcheurs du monde entier,
Sous le manteau de la Vierge
En grand nombre rassemblés.

Dominique, mon bon père,
Garde-nous simples et gais
Pour annoncer à nos frères
La Vie et La Vérité.
Dominique, nique, nique
Goes along very simply
Traveling in poverty and singing.
On every road, in every place,
He just talks about the good God,
He just talks about the good God.

In the age when John Lackland
Was the king of England,
our father,
Fought the Albigensians.

A certain day an heretic
Led him through the brambles,
But our father Dominic,
Through his own joy converted him.

Without a camel, nor diligence,
He travelled Europe on foot,
Scandinavia or Provence,
In saintly poverty.

He enflamed
all the schools
Boys and girls full of
And by sowing the word
He founded the Order of Preachers.

In the home of Dominic & his brothers,
Bread started becoming scarce,
And two angels presented themselves,
Bearing two great golden loaves.

Dominic saw in a dream
The preachers of the whole world
Under the mantle of the Virgin
In great number assembled.

Dominique, my good Father,
Keep us simple and merry
By announcing to our brothers
The Way and the Truth.

Who would think that the following verse would be at the top of the radio and ecord charts in an anglo-saxon protestant land? On one certain day, a heretic led through the brambles our Father Dominic, whom joyfully converted him [the heretic].
Certain jour un hérétique
Par des ronces le conduit,
Mais notre père Dominique
Par sa joie le convertit.
There is a parochial humor, a humor of rivalry within the faith, between parts of the church, between orders. Often it is the Jesuit, who is in the punch line. We had essay questions that often began, “Compare and contrast”. Well, this certain one begins: Compare and contrast the Dominicans and the Jesuits.
Student: They were both founded by Spaniards. St. Dominic de Osma founded the Dominicans, and St. Ignatius de Loyola, the Jesuits. An early mission was to combat heresy — the Dominicans: the Albigensians; the Jesuits: the Protestants.

Teacher: Ok, good. Now, how were they different?

Student: When was the last time, anyone saw an Albigensian?
The song also tells us Dominic travelled through Provence and Scandinavia. He did, and he encountered the cathar heresy in the Occitan (southern France) . He was surprised that the heretical preachers were educated and even eloquent. Dominic wanted to confront and defeat them intellectually. He publicly debated them several times. He wanted to start a movement, and a religious order, to combat the heresy.

The area about Toulouse (Prouille, Fanjeaux, Montpellier, Servian, Béziers, Carcassonne) was a center of his activity, and so was the university town of Bologna. He devoted himself to severe poverty, and mortification to his body. And this was the serious programme that he believed would achieve success. Many miracles were wrked in his life. He was quickly recognised as a saint, officially in 1234.

Final confirmation of the establishment of the Ordo Praedicatorum, Order of Preachers, O.P. was granted 22 December 1216. Pope Honorius III supported the preachers greatly. In 1217 Dominic preached, in Rome, during Lent. He was named to the office and title of Master of the Sacred Palace, theologian to the pope, which has remained with the Order of Preachers. The order was established at the University of Paris, the foremost centre of theology, and at many other sites. The order maintains a preferred rôle in biblical studies in the Holy Land.

The two great mendicant orders were beginning contemporaneously. Dominic and Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Ordo Fratrum Minorum (OFM), met each other in Rome. The Franciscans lived the spirit of the Beatitudes, and the Dominicans the zeal of the Apostles.
It is not by the display of power and pomp, cavalcades of retainers, and richly-houseled palfreys, or by gorgeous apparel, that the heretics win proselytes; it is by zealous preaching, by apostolic humility, by austerity, by seeming, it is true, but by seeming holiness. Zeal must be met by zeal, humility by humility, false sanctity by real sanctity, preaching falsehood by preaching truth. — Dominic 1208.
*albigensian=cathar, Albi is a town in Provence=Languedoc=Midi=Occitan near Toulouse, where one of the debates took place. The cathars were gnostic dualists, who devalued the body since it was the evil creation of an evil god. In their schema: There were two gods. The crucifixion did not happen, reincarnation was possible, the Eucharist was denounced and so on. The Old Testament tells of the evil god. Only the cathars were the true christians, catholics were corrupt. There were two classes of believers. Secret knowledge was denied to the inferior believers. Pregnancy was evil, marriage was too, all sexual activities were permitted by the inferior believers. The superior believers, the perfect, would pretend to extreme asceticism. Frequent preaching with novel, twisting exegeses were employed.
They have been promoted and eulogised by those who hate catholicism: masons, atheists, and extreme protestants. Whom have made them martyrs for enlightenment, or proponents of free thought and “biblical christianity”. They are far, more similar to a new age cult.

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