Prayers of the Saints: St. Dominic

Published on Thursday, 01 August 2019 19:00
Written by Stewardship Today Staff

St. Peter preached a wondrous sermon at Pentecost, helping to establish the Church. Later, St. Stephen, one of the first deacons, preached such a convicting sermon, it cost him his life. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, preaching—the proclamation of the Gospel message—claims a unique capacity to change lives. That capacity was certainly needed at the close of the twelfth century when heresies struck the European Church. At that time, while traveling through France, a young contemplative Spanish priest encountered the proponents of heretical teaching, and—though a somewhat reserved individual himself—he spoke out and proclaimed the reliable truth of the Gospel.

Domingo de Guzman, known as St. Dominic, refused the finery common to some clergy at the time. He rather embodied the appearance and lifestyle of the poorest he believed God called him to serve, walking everywhere he went, with no funds and no food. Not only did the times call for someone with such devotion, but others soon realized the power of his poverty and his preaching, and they followed him. A new order, the Order of Preachers—the Dominicans, soon spread throughout Europe. Dominic was so respected and revered, he was canonized within fifteen years of his death.

Many record St. Dominic’s words on a prayer card under the title “The Prayer of St. Dominic.” Clear in those words is his sense of God’s presence and the Spirit’s role in preaching. “May God the Father who made us bless us. May God the Son send his healing among us. May God the Holy Spirit move with us and give us eyes to see with, ears to hear with, and hands that your work might be done. May we walk and preach the word of God to all. May the angel of peace watch over us and lead us at last by God’s grace to the Kingdom. Amen.”