“This was St Dominic’s appearance. He was of middle height and slender figure, of handsome and somewhat ruddy countenance, his hair and beard of auburn, and with lustrous eyes. From out his forehead and between his eye brows a radiant light shone forth, which drew everyone to revere and love him. He was always joyous and cheerful, except when moved to compassion at anyone’s sorrows. His hands were beautiful and tapering; his voice was clear, noble, and musical; he was never bald, but kept his religious tonsure entire, mingled here and there with a few grey hairs.” – from Blessed Cecilia Caesarini OP, Dominican nun who knew St Dominic.
Our holy father Saint Dominic died in Bologna on 6 August 1221, so this year the Order is celebrating the 800th anniversary of his ‘dies natalis’, his heavenly birthday. The Pope has granted a special plenary indulgence to anybody who “attends a celebration in honour of St Dominic” on his feast day (4 August in the old rite, and 8 August in the current new calendar).
To mark this special jubilee, the Rosary Shrine will be celebrating a Novena of Masses from Fri 30th July to Sat 7th August. There will be Mass each day celebrated by a special guest celebrant who will also preach at the Mass. Celebrants will be visiting Dominican friars from Oxford, Cambridge, or Leicester, or members of the Priestly Fraternity of St Dominic, who are diocesan priests affiliated to the Order. Please note the times of the Masses in the poster above (6pm daily except on Sundays when it will be at 12 noon). The Mass on 4 August, which is the feast of St Dominic in the Dominican rite (and still celebrated as such in Bologna), will be a Dominican Rite High Mass in Latin with Dominican chant; a booklet with translations to guide you through the Mass will be provided.
Every night after the Mass, the friars will lead a Rosary Procession with a statue of St Dominic being taken around the church. On the feast of St Dominic itself in the Ordinary Form (8 August), there will be Mass at 12 noon, followed by an outdoor Procession (weather permitting).
We invite you to join us in this jubilee year for these special celebrations of Saint Dominic our patron, our founder, and our holy father. May he bless our parish, our shrine, and our homes.
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