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Blessed Reginald Receiving Scapular

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

The following reflection is part of an ongoing series about the life of St. Dominic & the Order of Friars Preachers.

Reginald of Orleans (1180 – 1220), a doctor of laws, was a prominent public figure and distinguished scholar before becoming a Dominican, having held the chair of canon law at the University of Paris. On his way to visit the Holy Land, Reginald stopped in Rome, where he was drawn to Dominic and his Order’s ideal. While there he fell dangerously ill with a high fever. Tradition has it that Mary appeared to him in a vision and healed him. She also showed him the white scapular that Dominic had adopted for his Order and anointed his feet with holy oil to make them ready to spread the Gospel. Reginald later received from Dominic the scapular, described in the Order’s vows as “the maternal pledge from heaven of the love of the Blessed Virgin Mary towards us.” Reginald’s example and eloquent preaching attracted many young men to the Dominican Order in Italy and later in Paris.

Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. (a member of the English Province) was invited by the Dominican Foundation to take pictures of some of the locations where our friars serve throughout the Northeast. During his time in Washington, D.C., Fr. Lew photographed the interior of the Church of St. Dominic. St. Dominic’s has been the church where our friars are ordained to the priesthood each May. Surrounding the church, is a collection of beautiful stained glass windows that chronicle the life of St. Dominic & the foundation of the Order of Preachers. Fr. Lew accomplished a great work by capturing the splendor of these windows, and in the process, the life of a towering saint.

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