St Dominic’s passion for the salvation of All


[Extract from a letter by Damien Byrne OP (Master of the Order 1983-92)]
Dominic’s burning passion for the salvation of all left a powerful impression on those who were his closest associates. The young William of Montferrat tells us that ‘Dominic was filled with a greater zeal for the salvation of all than anyone else I have ever met.’ ‘So we both agreed and even promised each other that when Brother Dominic had organised his Order and I had studied theology for two years, we would go away together and do all that we could to convert the pagans, in Prussia and in other lands of the North.’
Statements such as these are to be found in many of the depositions made at the process of canonization. Jordan of Saxony echoes them in the ‘Libellus’ when he says:
With all his energy and with passionate zeal, [Dominic] set himself to win all the souls he could for Christ. His heart was full of an extraordinary, almost incredible yearning for the salvation of everyone.
Jordan also tells us:
He had a special prayer that God would grant him true charity, which would be effective in caring for and winning the salvation of all; he thought he would only really be a member of Christ’s Body when he would spend himself utterly with all his strength in the winning of souls.
Dominic never achieved his ambition to be a missionary to the non-Christian world but he directed the Order to this path. At the Chapter of 1221 it was decided to send bands of Dominicans to three different territories beyond the frontiers of Christendom. Those who were sent with Paul of Hungary asked to go to the Cumans, thus fulfilling Dominic’s ambition. It was the Chapter that made these decisions but the inspiration came from Dominic.

And so, we pray that Our Father Dominic will obtain for us an increase in that true charity and zeal for souls which he had.