Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Devotion of the 15 Tuesdays to St. Dominic

The tradition of dedicating Tuesdays to Our Holy Father St. Dominic takes its origins right from the beginnings of the Order.  The first translations of the relics of our holy Patriarch took place on Whit-Tuesday (May 24) in the year 1233 at Bologna.  Successive Chapters from 1239 to 1282 introduced various liturgical practices into the rubrics of the Mass and Office of the Order, as a means of fostering devotion to him.  This process culminated in the act of the Chapter of 1362, which introduced the practice of dedicating the 3rd day of the week (Tuesday) to the holy Patriarch.  From this point forward, on every Tuesday outside of Lent, the Mass of the day was to be his Mass, with a commemoration of him in the Office.

The specific practice of the Devotion of the 15 Tuesdays was instituted in Florence in the year 1631.  During an occurrence of the plague that year, a Fr. Michael Bruni, of the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria Novella, exhorted the faithful to pray to St. Dominic, and promise to receive on Communion on 15 consecutive Tuesdays, presumably in honor of the 15 decades of the Rosary.  The success of this effort led to a rapid spread of the 15 Tuesdays devotion.  Pope Pius VII granted an indulgence for those who availed themselves of the pious practice in honor of St. Dominic.

This year, the devotion of the 15 Tuesdays begins on Tuesday, April 23 and ends on Sunday, July 30.  Even though an indulgence is no longer attached to this wonderful devotion, we can, nonetheless, keep this beautiful tradition alive and undertake this pious work in honor of our our holy Patriarch, St. Dominic.  And just because the indulgence is no longer attached to it, that does not mean that our holy Patriarch won't intercede for our intentions when we honor him thus.

O lumen Ecclesiae
Doctor veritatis,
Rosa patientiae,
Ebur castitatis,
Aquam sapientiae
propinasti gratis,
Praedicator gratiae,
nos junge beatis.
Light of the Church,
Teacher of truth,
Rose of patience,
Ivory of chastity,
You freely poured forth
The waters of wisdom,
Preacher of grace,
Unite us with the blessed.