St. Antoninus

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.

At sixteen, Antoninus (1389 – 1459) joined the Dominican Order and for the next forty years served as local or provincial superior in various Italian priories. He founded the convent of San Marco under the patronage of Cosimo de Medici and also under the sodality of St. Martin. In 1446 Antoninus was appointed archbishop of Florence and undertook the reform of his diocese, whose clergy, he discovered, were profoundly uneducated. He produced a widely used manual for confessors and his Summa Historale, describing the scholastic method used to educate Dominicans since the time of Thomas Aquinas. His writings include a highly regarded Summa of moral theology, treatises on the Christian life, and a world history. Antoninus taught that the state had a duty to govern for the common good. He is portrayed in his bishop’s vestments giving to the poor.

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.