Traditionally the month of May is know as ‘Mary’s month’. Today the 8th May the Dominican family honours her under the title of Patroness of our Order.

There is a lovely story told by Sr Cecilia (one of the first Dominican nuns of the monastery of San Sisto, Rome) who knew Dominic personally:

Once while Dominic was praying he was caught up in spirit before God and saw the Lord and the Blessed Virgin sitting at His right. It seemed to Blessed Dominic that Our Lady was wearing a cloak the colour of saphire.

As Blessed Dominic looked around, he could see religious of all the orders but his own before the throne of God. He began to weep bitterly and stood apart, not daring to approach the Lord and His Mother. Then Our Lady motioned for him to come near. But he would not dare, until the Lord Himself also called him.

Blessed Dominic cast himself down before them weeping bitterly. The Lord told him to rise and when he did, asked him “Why are your weeping so?” “I am weeping because I see all the other orders here but no sign of my own.” The Lord said to him “Do you want to see your Order?” and he answered “Yes, Lord” Then the Blessed Virgin opended the cloak she was wearing and spread it out before Blessed Dominic to whom it seemed vast enough to cover the entire heaven, and under it he saw a large multitude of the brethren.

Then prostrating himself, Blessed Dominic gave thanks to God and to Blessed Mary His Mother, After that the vision disappeared and he came to himself just as the bell rang for Matins. When Matins were over, he called the brethren and gave them a long and beautiful talk, exhorting them to love and pay reverence to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The fact that this same story is related by many other religious Orders in relation to the their own founders, should not lead us to ignore the story or cast it aside as a ‘fairy tale’. Rather these stories and legends convey a truth about Mary’s loving care and protection for each of ther children – and it is this which we celebrate and for which we give thanks today.

We invite you to visit the reflections page of our website – reflection on the “Pondering Mother of God”.