Friday, March 06, 2015

Eight Hundred Years On

Leandro Bassano 
1557 - 1622
Pope Honorius III Approving the Rule of St Dominic in 1216
Oil on canvas
Sacristy of the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

Papal Bull: Religiosam vitam [eligentibus] 
22nd December 1216

When St. Dominic, in 1216, asked for the official recognition of his order, the first Preachers numbered only sixteen

The Order of Preachers was approved in December 1216 and January 1217 by Pope Honorius III in the papal bulls Religiosam vitam and Nos attendentes

On January 21, 1217 Honorious issued the bull Gratiarum omnium recognizing St. Dominic's followers as an Order dedicated to study and universally authorized to preach, a power formerly reserved to local episcopal authorization

On August 15, 1217 Dominic dispatched seven of his followers to the great university centre of Paris to establish a priory focused on study and preaching. The Convent of St. Jacques, would eventually become the Order's first studium generale

Bull of Pope Honorius III authorising the Dominican preachers to celebrate Divine Office in the Church given to them by the Masters of the University of Paris
1st December 1219
14 x 11 cm
Musée des documents français, Paris

Saint Dominic was to establish similar foundations at other university towns of the day, Bologna in 1218, Palencia and Montpellier in 1220, and Oxford just before his death in 1221

The guiding theme of the celebrations will be the quotation from St Paul: "Woe to us if we do not preach the gospel!" (cf. 1 Cor 9:16