Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Monday, May 02, 2005

Sub tuum praesidium...

May is the month of Mary and is of relatively recent provenance but as with so many of these devotionals has rather more ancient and pagan roots. A traditional rite during May is the crowning of an image or statue of Our Lady with flowers and in the Philippines, the procession in honour of Mary is called the Flores de Mayo; the May flowers. Spring is truly upon us and flowers are in blossom all around, so it is a lovely time of year to celebrate our Blessed Mother with flowers.

In my own way, I wish to offer the lovely photo above of Our Lady crowned. It is from the Dominican novitiate in Manaoag, the Philippines. The image of Our Lady holding out her mantle (known in Orthodox liturgy as the 'Protecting Veil') is one of my favourite images of Mary as she is shielding us in her mantle, a popular medieval image and one reiterated by Our Lady in her beautiful and motherly words to San Juan Diego. The image of Our Lady shielding me with her mantle accompanied me on my mission in Manila and continues to comfort me.

On Saturday, a friend who is an aspiring Trappist monk told me a lovely story/ joke:

"A Dominican friar who made it to heaven was rather concerned when looking around he saw all the Orders - Franciscans, Benedictines, Carmelites, even Jesuits - but he did not see any brother or sister Dominicans!
So, he approached St Peter and said: 'St Peter, I became a Dominican on earth but here in heaven I don't see any! Why?!'
The Gate-keeper told the worried Dominican: 'Oh, you'd better see Our Lady about that!'
The friar hurried to see Our Lady and told her about his concerns.
And Our Blessed Lady just smiled at him and unfolded her mantle to reveal joyful Dominican sisters, nuns, brothers, fathers and laity within the protection of her mantle. He rushed in to join them in the embrace of Our Mother..."

What a beautiful image and the photo above shows just that.

May Our Blessed Mother, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary continue to protect the Order of Preachers and guide the Church.

We can all pray the most ancient prayer to Our Lady, dating from the 3rd century:
"Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus nostris, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta. Amen."

'We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.'


Blogger Zadok the Roman said...

That story is a very old one and famous inside and outside the order.

3:16 pm  

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