Saint Dominic de Guzman

Saint Dominic de Guzman

St. Dominic de Guzman

St. Dominic de Guzman, also known as Dominic of Caleruega, was a Spanish-born Catholic priest and founder of the Order of Preachers, commonly known as the Dominican Order. Born in 1170 in Caleruega, Castile, Spain, Dominic’s life was marked by a deep devotion to God, a passion for preaching, and a commitment to spreading the teachings of the Catholic Church. His legacy as a religious leader and educator has had a lasting impact on the Church and continues to inspire many to this day.

Dominic was born into a noble family, with his father being a knight and his mother a member of the Spanish royal family. From a young age, he showed a strong inclination towards the Catholic faith, and his parents ensured that he received a solid religious education. He studied theology and philosophy at the University of Palencia, where he excelled in his studies and showed a keen interest in the Bible and the writings of the Church Fathers.

After completing his studies, Dominic was ordained as a priest in 1196. He then became a canon regular in the Cathedral of Osma, where he dedicated himself to a life of prayer and study. It was during this time that he witnessed the rise of the Albigensian heresy, a sect that rejected the teachings of the Catholic Church and threatened the spiritual well-being of many in Europe.

In response, Dominic joined the efforts of the Bishop of Osma, Diego de Acebo, in preaching against the heresy and converting its followers. The two men travelled throughout southern France, engaging in debates and discussions with the heretics and offering them the true teachings of the Church. However, they soon realized that preaching alone was not enough to combat the heresy, and they needed a dedicated order of men who could devote themselves to the task.

In 1215, Dominic and Bishop Diego established a religious community called the Order of Preachers, with the approval of Pope Innocent III. The members of this order, known as Dominicans, were to live a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience and were dedicated to preaching the Gospel and combating heresies. They were also encouraged to pursue advanced education and engage in scholarly debates to defend the Church’s teachings.

Dominic’s vision for the Order of Preachers was revolutionary for its time. The Dominicans were the first religious order to focus solely on preaching and teaching rather than traditional monastic practices. They also emphasized the importance of education and intellectual pursuits, which earned them the nickname “hound of the Lord” for their pursuit of knowledge and truth.

The Order of Preachers quickly gained popularity and spread throughout Europe, establishing houses in major cities and universities. Dominic himself travelled extensively, preaching and establishing new communities. He also played an important role in the establishment of the Inquisition, a Church institution that aimed to combat heresy and protect the purity of Catholic doctrine.

In addition to his work as a religious leader, Dominic was also known for his kindness, humility, and devotion to service. He was a man of great compassion and worked tirelessly to help the poor and sick, founding hospitals and shelters for those in need. His deep love for God and his fellow human beings was evident in all aspects of his life.

St. Dominic de Guzman died on August 6, 1221, at the age of 51. He was canonized in 1234 by Pope Gregory IX and is now recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church. The Order of Preachers continues to thrive today, with over 6,000 members in more than 80 countries carrying on the legacy of St. Dominic and his commitment to preaching, teaching, and serving others.

St. Dominic de Guzman’s life is a testament to his unwavering faith, dedication to the Church, and passion for preaching. His legacy as the founder of the Order of Preachers has had a lasting impact on the Catholic Church, and his teachings and examples continue to inspire people to live a life of service and devotion to God. St. Dominic’s life is a shining example of how one person’s vision and dedication can have a profound effect on the world.

Easter Vigil 2024

Easter Vigil 2024

The Priory of St. Dominic celebrated Easter Vigil on March 31st at 10:00 pm. The great night was filled with joy and solemnity. After the mass, the community and the faithful gathered to share some refreshments. 

The Way of the Cross on Good Friday

The Way of the Cross on Good Friday

On this Good Friday in the Diocese of Macao, the Bishop, Religious Priests and Sisters, and the faithful gather together in a solemn procession of the Way of the Cross. Starting in Flora Garden and culminating at the top of Guia Hill, this annual tradition organized by the lay faithful in the Diocese of Macao holds deep significance for the faithful to enter into a spiritual journey towards Easter.

The Bishop, Religious Priests and Sisters, and the faithful united in the procession carry the weight of the Cross not just symbolically but with hearts open to the depth of Christ’s sacrifice.

In the footsteps of Jesus, they contemplate His suffering, His love, and His ultimate victory over sin and death. Each step taken in this procession echoes the journey of faith, inviting all to meditate on the cost of redemption and the boundless mercy of God. The Way of the Cross in Macao becomes a testimony of faith, a communal prayer of gratitude, and a pilgrimage of the heart.

On Good Friday, we reflect on the profound sacrifice that Jesus made for all of humanity as He walked the way of the Cross. Take us through Jesus’ journey to Calvary, where He bore the weight of our sins and endured unimaginable suffering out of love for us.

As we meditate on each Station of the Cross, we are invited to enter into the mystery of Christ’s passion and death, to contemplate His humility, His obedience to the Father’s will, and His boundless love for each one of us. We see Jesus’ unwavering resolve and His willingness to carry the Cross, knowing that it would lead Him to the ultimate sacrifice for our redemption.

The Way of the Cross reminds us of the reality of sin and the cost of our salvation. It challenges us to reflect on our own crosses, struggles, and sufferings and to unite them with Christ for the greater glory of God. Through the Stations of the Cross, we are called to embrace our own crosses with faith and courage, trusting in the promise of Easter joy and the victory of Christ over sin and death.

As we journey with Jesus along the Way of the Cross, may we be inspired to live lives of selflessness, compassion, and sacrificial love? May we find strength in Christ’s example and draw closer to Him as we contemplate His passion and death on this Good Friday. May we carry our crosses with hope and perseverance, knowing that through the Cross, we find redemption and eternal life in Him.

 

Holy Week Recollection

Holy Week Recollection

We begin our Holy week with recollection, which is an invitation for us to reflect on two questions (Fr. Fausto Gomez OP).

Who is Christ for you?

According to the Scriptures, Christ is revealed to us in Scripture as the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Word made flesh who dwelt among us (John 1:14). He is the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies and the embodiment of God’s love and mercy for humanity.

In the teachings of the Church, Christ is acknowledged as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, fully God and fully man, who came to earth to redeem humanity through His life, death, and resurrection. The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms that Jesus Christ is the “one mediator between God and men” (1 Timothy 2:5) and the source of our salvation (CCC 846).

In our personal experience encounter with Christ, we are called to live in His presence, His grace, and His transformative power in our own life. Through prayer, the sacraments, Scripture reading, and acts of service, many people have encountered Christ in a personal and profound way, feeling His love, guidance, and peace in their lives.

Christ is our Lord and Savior, the source of hope and strength in times of trial, and the model of love and compassion that we strive to emulate in our own life. Through His teachings and example, we are called to love God and our neighbour, to seek justice and mercy, and to live a life of faith, hope, and charity.

Therefore, Christ is not only a historical figure but a living presence in our lives, inviting us into a relationship of love and communion with Him. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), calling us to follow Him, to trust in Him, and to bear witness to His love and salvation in the world.

May our understanding of who Christ is deepened through the study of Scripture, the teachings of the Church, and our personal encounters with Him, leading us to a deeper faith, a stronger commitment to discipleship, and a greater love for the Lord who gave Himself for us.

Where is Christ Today?

Christ is present everywhere, and Christ is living among us, in our lives and in our deeds.

  1. “In the Eucharist”: One of the most profound ways that Christ is present today is in the Eucharist. In the Gospel of Matthew 26:26-28, Jesus institutes the sacrament of the Eucharist during the Last Supper, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body… Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” In the Eucharist, Christians (Catholics) believe that the bread and wine truly become the body and blood of Christ. Therefore, when we receive the Eucharist, we are in communion with Christ in a very real and intimate way.
  2. “In the Church”: Christ is present in His mystical body, the Church. In the Gospel of Matthew 18:20, Jesus says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” As believers come together in worship, fellowship, and service, Christ is present among them. This presence is not just symbolic but real as Christ continues to work through His Church to bring about His kingdom on earth.
  3. “In the Word of God”: Christ is present in the Scriptures, as the Word made flesh. In the Gospel of John 1:14, it is written, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” When we read and meditate on the Bible, we encounter Christ and His teachings. Through the Scriptures, Christ continues to speak to us, guide us, and reveal God’s plan for salvation.
  4. “In the Poor and Needy”: In the Gospel of Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Christ is present in the faces of the poor, the marginalized, and the vulnerable. When we reach out to them with love, compassion, and support, we are ministering to Christ Himself.
  5. “In the Sacraments”: Christ is present in the sacraments of the Church, which are visible signs of God’s grace. Through the sacraments, such as Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation, and Matrimony. 

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday 

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, a time when the Church solemnly commemorates the events leading to Christ’s Passion and Resurrection. The day is filled with contrasts, as joyful acclamations at Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem quickly turn into cries of “Crucify him!”. This twofold mystery reminds us of the humility and patient suffering exemplified by Christ, guiding us to follow His example. Jesus, through His obedient trust in the Father, teaches us to face difficulties with peace and confident abandonment of God’s will.

The liturgy of Palm Sunday emphasizes the paradox of Jesus willingly giving Himself up to His Passion out of love for humanity. He accepted His fate with free obedience and infinite love, demonstrating that His sacrifice was a conscious choice rather than a result of external forces. This act of self-giving love is a central theme of Palm Sunday, inviting us to reflect on our own response to sin and the redemption offered through Christ’s sacrifice.

As we enter Holy Week through the gateway of Palm Sunday, we are called to journey with Jesus towards the Cross, where He will offer the gift of redemption to all humanity. The crowds accompanying Jesus to Jerusalem, including the blind man, express Messianic hope and anticipation of God’s kingdom. This anticipation echoes in our hearts as we contemplate the significance of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem and the fulfilment of Scripture through His Passion and Resurrection.

The readings today invite you to reflect deeply on the passion of the Lord as presented in the readings of the day. The first reading from Isaiah 50:4-7 portrays the suffering servant who endures humiliation and physical pain yet remains steadfast in faith and obedience to God. This passage foreshadows the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus, the true suffering servant, will make for all of humanity on the cross.

In the second reading from Philippians 2:6-11, we encounter a profound reflection on the mystery of the Incarnation and the humility of Christ. Jesus, though in the form of God, emptied himself and took on human form, obediently accepting death on the cross. This self-emptying love of Christ is at the heart of the Christian faith and serves as a model for us to emulate in our own lives.

The Gospel reading from Mark 14:1-15:47 recounts the detailed narrative of Jesus’ passion, from the betrayal by Judas to the crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross. This account challenges us to confront the reality of sin and the depth of God’s love for us, demonstrated through the sacrifice of His Son for our redemption.

As we meditate on these readings, we are called to enter into the mystery of Christ’s passion with humility, gratitude, and repentance. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, a time of intense reflection on the suffering and death of Jesus, leading to the joy of His resurrection on Easter Sunday. Let us walk alongside Jesus in His passion, acknowledging our own sins that contributed to His suffering and embracing the hope and redemption that His sacrifice offers to all humanity. May we carry the message of Christ’s love and mercy in our hearts as we journey through Holy Week towards the celebration of His glorious resurrection?