Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 6: St. Nicholas and the Dominican Order...Again.

The feast of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, is one of my favorite non-Dominican feasts in the liturgical calendar.  It holds the liturgical rank of III Class, as in the Roman Rite, but unlike the latter rite the Dominican Breviary contains a near-complete set of propers, as if the feast were II Class (you can download the text of the propers here, taken from the 1967 English Translation of the Breviarium S.OP.).

And for the third year in a row, I have stumbled across a connection between St. Nicholas and our holy Order.  Two years ago I did a post about how the feast of St. Nicholas was elevated to a totum duplex (1st Class) feast.  Then, last year, I did a post on how the famous mystical experience which ended St. Thomas Aquinas' prolific theological writing occurred on the feast of St. Nicholas, right after the Angelic Doctor finished offering the Mass of this saint.  A few weeks ago, while flipping through Pere Jacquin' "The Friar Preacher - Yesterday and Today" (Washbourne, 1915), I came across the account of St. Dominic's death.  Apparently, when our Holy Father became too ill to walk, he was carried by the brethren by stretcher to the Church of St. Nicholas in Bologna.  And there, surrounded by his fellow friars, he passed to his eternal reward.

So there you go, yet one more connection between the Order of Preachers and this wonderful saint.

As always, I remind anyone who reads this blog to check out the website of a wonderful organization called The St. Nicholas Center, who contacted me last year to ask if they could include my post from last year on St. Nicholas and the Dominicans on their website.  I was happy to oblige.  This organization seeks to promote and educate the world on this wonderful saint, who is the inspiration for Santa Claus.


O God, you adorned the blessed bishop Nicholas with countless miracles; grant, we beseech you, that through his merits and prayers, we may be delivered from the flames of hell.  Through our Lord...