Happy 798th Birthday to the Order of Preachers!

Pope Honorius Confirms Order of Preachers.  Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. This stained glass window depicting that event is in Saint Dominic's Church in Washington DC.
Pope Honorius Confirms Order of Preachers. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. This stained glass window depicting that event is in Saint Dominic’s Church in Washington DC.

Dominic set out for Rome to obtain the promise confirmation of his Order from Pope Innocent III, his good friend. However on the way he received news of the pope’s death. Would he be successful with the new pope, Honorius III? After much prayer Dominic continued on his journey. Honorius received him graciously, kept his predecessors promise, and confirm the order on December 22, 1216.

Adopting Innocence’s title, “The Order of Brothers Preachers” as the Order’s official name, Pope Honorius granted it the unique privilege of preaching the Gospel worldwide irrespective of diocesan boundaries, the first such commission in the church. The scroll he gave to Dominic read:

“Honorius, Bishop, servant of the servants of God, to our dear son, Dominic, prior of St Romain, of Toulouse, and to your brethren who have made, or shall make, profession of regular life, health and apostolic benediction. We, considering that

┬ádo confirm the Order in all its land and possessions present and to come; and we take the Order itself, with all its goods and rights, under our protection and government.”

By the time the order was confirmed, Dominic had it listed well educated men for the University of Paris and Bologna. Thus, from the beginning the Dominicans place study and preparation for preaching at the heart of their common life.