My Beloved Brother Mannes

It's probably a reasonable guess that 99.9% of all the WYD pilgrims don't know that today is the feast of someone who should be one of the patrons of WYD in Madrid!

Why? Because today is the feast of Bl. Mannes, brother of St. Dominic! After St. Dominic founded the monastery in Madrid in 1218 we know that he sent his brother, known as both a zealous preacher, a humble and gentle man and a deep contemplative, to care for the material and spiritual needs of the fledgling monastery.

The nuns at the Monasterio de. Santo Domingo on the Claudio Coelho has had an uninterrupted existence since that time although they are living in a monastery built in the 1800's.

They also have the honor of having the only verified writing of St. Dominic which is a letter written to their new community. They still have the original letter in their possession! This letter is one of the choices for the Matins reading for the feast of Bl. Mannes.
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It's not too long so we'll share it here:

Friar Dominic, Master of the Preachers, to the Beloved Prioress and the Entire Community of Nuns at Madrid: Health and Daily Progress.


Greatly do we rejoice and thank God because of your holy life and because He has freed you from the corruption of this world. Daughters, fight the ancient adversary insistently with fasting, for only he will be crowned who has striven according to the rules. If until the present you have not had a place in which to live your religious life, now you can no longer be excused, because by the grace of God you have buildings suitable enough for living the religious life. From now on I want silence to be kept in the forbidden places, the refectory, the dormitory, and the oratory, and your law to be observed in all other matters. Let none go out through the gate and no one enter except the bishop or some prelate for the sake of preaching or making a visitation. Be not sparing of discipline and vigils. Be obedient to your prioress. Avoid talking idly to one another. Let not your time be wasted in conversation.


Since we cannot help you in temporalities, we do not want to give any friar the authority to receive postulants, but only the prioress with the council of her community. Moreover, we command our dear brother, i.e., Friar Mannes, who has worked so hard and has joined you to this blessed state, that he arrange and dispose everything as shall seem good to him, so you might live a most religious and most holy life. Furthermore, we give him power to visit and correct and to remove the prioress (if it be necessary) with the consent of the majority of the nuns; and we give him permission that he may grant dispensations in some matters, if it seems fit to him.

Farewell in Christ.