(from: “The miracles of Blessed Dominic” by Blessed Cecilia, in Lippini, St. Dominic seen by his contemporaries, ESD, Bologna 1982, pp.203-206)
One evening Blessed Dominic, after having kept vigil in the church in prayer until midnight, went out and entered the dormitory where, having accomplished those things for which he had come, he went back to prayer at the end of the dormitory itself. While he was in prayer, he was made to look on the opposite side and saw three very beautiful women coming forward, the one in the center seemed a venerable lady and of the three the most beautiful and worthy; of the other two, one carried a very bright and beautiful vase, the other instead a sprinkler which she handed to the lady in the middle, with whom she sprinkled the friars making the sign of the cross on them. Thus, marking and sprinkling the Friars, she went around the dormitory. Blessed Dominic followed the scene with great attention. Then rising from prayer, he went to meet that Lady to the lamp that hung in the middle of the dormitory and, kneeling, although he had already recognized her, he begged her to reveal who she was.
At that time in Rome, in the Convent of the Friars and Sisters, that beautiful and devout antiphon, which begins with Salve Regina, was not yet sung but was only used to recite it on one’s knees. Well, answering to Blessed Dominic, that Lady said: “I am the one you invoke every evening. And when you say Eja ergo, advocata nostra, I throw myself on my knees before my Son for the preservation of this Order.” Then Blessed Dominic asked who those ladies who were with her were. The Blessed Virgin answered him: “One is Cecilia, the other is Catherine.” That said, after finishing the tour by marking and sprinkling the Friars who still remained, she disappeared.
Blessed Dominic then returned to pray in the place he had been before and suddenly he was rapt in spirit before God and saw the Lord and the Blessed Virgin, seated on the right, dressed, as it seemed to him, in a sapphire-colored cloak. Looking around, he saw before God representatives of all the Religious Orders, but he saw none of his; for which he began to weep bitterly and, standing far away, he did not dare to approach the Lord and his Mother. It was Mary who beckoned him with her hand to approach her; but he dared not move until the Lord also called him. He then approached all weeping and knelt in front of them. The Lord invited him to get up and, when he got up, asked him why he was crying. “I cry like this – he answered – because I see here representatives of all the Orders, but of mine I don’t see any.” Then the Lord asked, “Do you want to see your Order?” And then trembling, he replied, “Yes, oh Lord.” Then the Lord, placing a hand on the shoulder of the Blessed Virgin, turned again to Blessed Dominic and said, “I have entrusted your Order to my Mother.” Then he added, “But do you really want to see it?” The blessed Father replied,”Sure, oh Lord.” The Blessed Virgin threw open the cloak she seemed to be wearing and spread it in front of Blessed Dominic, to whom it seemed so big that it covered the whole heavenly homeland and under it she saw a multitude of his Friars. On his knees, Blessed Dominic then thanked God and the Blessed Mary his Mother. And the vision disappeared.
Coming to his senses, he immediately ran to ring the bell for morning, at the end of which he summoned the Friars to the chapter house and gave them a long and beautiful sermon, exhorting them to love and to the devotion of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And among other things he also told them this vision. Blessed Dominic himself narrated this vision to Sister Cecilia and to the other Sisters of St. Sisto, but as if it had happened to someone else. But the friars present, who had already heard it told, mentioned to the Sisters that it was him.