Question

Good evening.

This time no questions, but only compliments and gratitude.
In recent weeks I have been reading up on many responses from the chapter “eschatology” and the chapter “two ages”. These are extremely fascinating topics for me.
Unfortunately, for a long time I was a Catholic only by name, then since 2004, thanks to the conversion, I started to get serious. In my previous, life the greatest interest I had was soccer which seemed to me the most beautiful thing in the world. Now studying the time, the ages, the celestial bodies, the Trinity, the soul, it seems to me that soccer is….what it is, but a pastime.
I like to pass on the beauty of our doctrine to the children of the catechism, to show them that there is something immensely more fascinating than their mobile phone.
In the past, on ‘Radio Maria’, I listened to Father Roberto Coggi and Vincenzo Benetollo.
Thanks to the Dominicans for what they do. With them I always have the feeling of playing it safe regarding the doctrine, and of right reasoning. I imagine them as warriors who instead of swords have books and a pen to study and unravel the mysteries of faith and life.
Thanks,
Marco


Reply

Dear Marco,
1. Your e-mail gives me the opportunity to remember a dream that mother of St. Dominic had before conceiving him.
Blessed Jordan of Saxony, first successor of St. Dominic at the head of the Order, explains the dream in the Libellus de Principiis Ordinis, which was prepared for the canonization of St. Dominic.
The Blessed Joan of Aza (this is the name of the mother of Saint Dominic) saw a little black and white spotted dog leap out of her womb with a burning torch in its mouth and seemed to set the world on fire.
Blessed Jordan comments: “This foreshadowed that she would conceive a distinguished preacher who, with the barking of sacred doctrine, would awaken souls asleep in sin, spreading throughout the world that fire of charity that the Lord Jesus had come to bring to earth ”(n. 5).

2. That little dog with a burning torch soon entered among the symbols of the Dominican Order and came to signify the dog’s loyalty to the master and to his house.
Someone pointed out that the dog did not enjoy a good reputation in the Bible. 

In the Old Testament the dog is listed among the impure animals. 

In the New Testament, it is a derogatory symbol. Jesus warns, “Do not give what is holy to dogs” (Mt 7: 6). 

St. Paul in turn says, “Beware of the dogs! Beware of the evil workers!…(Phil.3,2)

In the Apocalypse, those who are excluded from Paradise are called dogs, “Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the unchaste, the murderers, the idol-worshipers, and all who loves and practices deceit” (Rev 22:15).

3. It could be said, even if it is a bit risky, that in the dream of Blessed Joan of Aza, the dog is rehabilitated among the Christians (already done before the dream) and becomes the faithful and ready companion of the hunter in search of game. At a silent sign from the master and more often instinctively, the dog barks to defend both the master and his house. Sometimes he not only barks, but also throws himself onto the enemy, even at the cost of throwing himself into the water and fighting.
Saint Augustine had already spent a good word in favor of this pet. He says that dogs, “watch over both for the House and for the Master and for the flock and for the shepherd” (Vigilant enim et pro Domo et pro Domino et pro grege et pro pastore”(Epistles, Third Division).

4. Fidelity to the Lord, to the doctrine, to the Church, to the supernatural good of souls has accompanied the Dominican Order as a whole. Perhaps it is hazardous to say that for Dominicans, it is a state of grace. But that little dog well symbolizes the role of this Order and its friars.
The fact that he entered the coat of arms of the Order does not refer only to a family episode (the dream of Blessed Joan) but is a reminder for everyone to be what one should be: Domini canes (dogs of the Lord). This is where the word association between Dominicans and Domini canes came to play.
Like dogs, they are all pro Domo et Domino (for the house and for the Master) thus the Dominicans, according to a well found expression, are also all pro Domo et Domino, that is, for the Church (souls) and for the Lord.

Thank you for the esteem you have for our Order.
It has undoubtedly given a lot to the Church and we hope it will continue to give. Saint Teresa of Avila, who was a Carmelitan, said that it will give until the end of the world.
I remind you to the Lord and I bless you.
Father Angelo

Traslated by Marina Nelson

Verified by Martha Nelson

original post is available in Italian