Today I wish to speak of the great contribution made by Saint Dominic to the renewal of the Church in the Middle Ages. As a priest of the Spanish diocese of Osma, he was sent on missions throughout Europe, which drew his attention to the need for sound and zealous preachers to bring the Gospel to the people. He was entrusted with the task of refuting the heresy of the Albigensians, who denied the incarnation of Christ, the resurrection of the body and the value of marriage and the sacraments. Embracing a life of poverty, Dominic dedicated himself to the task of preaching the Gospel, and with a band of followers he established the Order of Preachers, also known as Dominican Friars. Adapting the rule of Saint Augustine to the needs of the apostolic life, Dominic placed emphasis on theological study, prayer and community life for his friars. Thus fortified, they would be sent out on missions as itinerant, mendicant preachers. Hence the Dominican motto, contemplata aliis tradere – to hand on to others the fruits of contemplation. One important way in which the Dominicans did this was by promoting the prayer of the rosary, a beautiful means of contemplating, through the eyes of Mary, the truth revealed in the mysteries of the life, death and Resurrection of her son.
Today, our Holy Father devoted his General Audience to sharing his thoughts about our founder, St. Dominic. Below is a synopsis of the text which you can find in full in Italian . Not mentioned in this text is St. Dominic's work with the nuns and the value of the intercessory life of prayer of the cloistered nuns which is an integral part of the preaching charism of the Dominican Order.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,