The Order of Preachers celebrate a Jubilee Year with the theme “Sent to preach the Gospel”. This marks the issuing of the Bulls promulgated by Pope Honorius III eight centuries ago, confirming the foundation of the Order, in 1216 and 1217. The Jubilee Year properly speaking will be celebrated between November 7, 2015 (Feast of All Saints of the Order) and January 21, 2017 (the date of the Bull Gratiarum omnium largitori of Pope Honorius III).
PRAYER FOR THE JUBILEE
God, Father of mercy, who called your servant Dominic de Guzman to set out in faith as an itinerant pilgrim and a preacher of grace, as we prepare to celebrate the Jubilee of the Order we ask you to pour again into us the Spirit of the Risen Christ, that we might faithfully and joyfully proclaim the Gospel of peace, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Today we honour all the Saints of the Order of Preachers who enjoy eternal happiness in the glory of heaven, those faithful souls who now reap the reward of their good lives here on earth. Some of their names may be known only in the hearts of other Dominicans and their immediate families, including our own deceased Sisters Dominic, Ariberta and Hermengild; others known only by God himself. Because some of them lived so many years ago many of their accomplishments are not recorded; but like the rest of us, they lived through all the stresses and trials of everyday life and they were faithful to their vocation; and for this they are examples to us who follow in their footsteps. They were weak as we are weak, and they were tempted as we are tempted; but the way they lived their lives is more important than any recognition they may have attained.
Nowadays popular opinion, even among many Catholics, places holiness beyond our reach. So many people have the mistaken notion that to be a saint is beyond their grasp; but they forget that becoming a saint is the long and painful struggle of a lifetime. Our Lord tells us that the saint is prepared to put up with hardship, the saint is prepared to struggle against selfishness and pride, the saint is prepared to change his way of life.
Saint Therese of Lisieux taught us that holiness is achieved simply by doing ordinary things well. And what fills us with great hope and joy today is that among this vast multitude of saints are Sisters from our own community, they are people we have known and loved. Their lives influenced us because they had the strength to live the Gospel message in simplicity and with undivided hearts. They were people who were faithful to their religious vocation and they showed us that it is possible to live a saintly life in a world that has, for the most part, rejected God and even the idea of a moral life. The great example of their goodness is not wasted on us. Contemplating their fidelity to Christ and to the Church and the Order gives us courage to fight the good fight ourselves with prayer, penance, perseverance and works of mercy. Our prayer today should be that God will enter our lives and make his home in us so that one day we too may be numbered among the saints of our Order in heaven.