The Dominicans around the world are celebrating a “double” Jubilee for not only is it the Jubilee Year of Mercy, it is also the 800th anniversary of the issuing of the Bulls promulgated by Pope Honorius III, confirming the foundation of the Order, in 1216 and 1217. The celebration began on November 7, 2015 (Feast of All Saints of the Order) and will end on January 21, 2017 (the date of the Bull Gratiarum omnium largitori of Pope Honorius III).
The theme of the Jubilee Year is fittingly enough “Sent to preach the Gospel.” On the Jubilee website, there is a beautiful summation of the one identifying sign of Dominican life:
“…a type of genetic code if you will, for the members of the Order and the Dominican family; that is the preaching for the salvation of humanity (Fundamental Constitution V), the ministry of the Word (officium verbi), the mission of evangelization…. The nuns, specifically dedicated to prayer, participate in the ministry of preaching, listening to the Word, celebrating it and proclaiming the Gospel through the example of their lives. Equally, the co-operator brothers join in the preaching through their faithful living out of their Profession in the Order.”
The Order has included the cloistered nuns in the celebrations by arranging an international Rosary Pilgrimage during the Jubilee year. This pilgrimage is hosted in turn by each of the monasteries of Dominican nuns around the world. In support of this activitiy, they also published a beautiful set of Rosary Meditations from the writings of Dominican Saints.
The Dominicans Nuns in Marbury, Alabama, have arranged these into a booklet with sacred art by Dominican artists–Preachers both with words and with images. You can download the PDF or send the sisters a donation for a printed copy (check on availability first). Their assigned days for participating in the Rosary Pilgrimage will be in October.
Pope Francis has also granted the possibility of receiving a plenary indulgence to the faithful who go to a Dominican celebration and/or church. Saying the following prayer in addition to the usual requirements is all that is required to receive the benefits of this Jubilee Year.
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 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. Amen