Our Heavenly Brothers and Sisters

A quick look at the saints and blesseds of the Order of Preachers listed in the Dominican litany and you probably noticed that most of them are not canonized saints but still blesseds. If you are wondering why this is so there are a number of reasons. First, Dominicans have never been big into canonizing their holy brothers and sisters! Even St. Dominic got canonized only after St. Francis was and the friars scratched their collective heads and thought they'd better do something about it!

Many of our blesseds are those whose "cult is confirmed". That means that the active case for canonization is closed. These blesseds of the Order are similiar to the local saints of medieval times.

Every night at supper reading we read an account of our saintly brothers and sisters and their stories become familiar. As one calls on each of them asking them to "pray for us" their stories pass through our minds! The brothers who preached with the fervor of their Founder, the lay brothers and sisters who lived lives of heroic penance and great virtue, the sisters who worked to re-evangelize like after the French Revolution, and of course, the nuns who lived lives of hidden intercessory prayer, living lives that often are to be admired rather than emulated!

It is a great grace to belong to such a vast and holy family. Many, many more of our brothers and sisters will never be listed in a litany. The example of all them gives us hope and courage to join them in the heavenly company!