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Vision of Blessed Joanna

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.

According to tradition, Dominic’s mother–Jane of Aza, also known as Joanna–had a dream before her son’s conception in which she saw a hound racing through the world igniting everything with a flaming torch. Troubled by this dream, she went to pray at the Benedictine abbey of San Domingo de Silos, located in a pleasant valley about twenty miles north of Caleruega. This dream was indeed prophetic. Dominic did ignite the world with sacred truth through preaching and teaching born from a life of dedicated prayer, love for the Word of God, and a burning desire to gain souls for Christ. It is widely believed that Dominic’s keen sensitivity to the sufferings of others, which he displayed from childhood on, was acquired from his mother, who, although from a noble family, was known for her compassion toward the poor and needy. From her Dominic also acquired the habit of prayer.

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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