As its founder and father, St. Dominic holds a special place at the heart of the Order of Preachers. The pages of this section describe the life, mission, and heritage of our thirteenth century founder in whose footsteps we walk today. St. Dominic received his mission in southern France, where heresy was rampant. At a site now called the Seignadou (the sign from God), he was inspired to begin the first foundation of Dominican nuns in 1206. The beautiful habit of the Order dates back to the time of St. Dominic and is a reminder to the world and to ourselves of the call to belong to Christ.

As Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, our life is marked by constant reminders of St. Dominic. The O Lumen, an antiphon sung each night as our last community act of prayer, praises the gifts of St. Dominic while begging his continued intercession for his spiritual sons and daughters. In our prayers throughout the day, we are reminded of our dependence on the founder of our Order. In anticipation of his feast day on August 8, we pray a community novena to St. Dominic which reminds us of his life and work. The Fifteen Tuesdays leading up to the feast of St. Dominic have been celebrated since the seventeenth century with prayers and meditations on his life. In art that is found on the grounds and along the corridors of St. Cecilia Motherhouse, the sisters find themselves surrounded by images of St. Dominic that teach us of the riches of our Dominican heritage.

St. Dominic was a man of deep prayer, out of which was born the zealous active life of preaching that consumed his days. He influenced people both through his words and his life. The Nine Ways of Prayer of St. Dominic is a summary of the way this holy man prayed. Compiled by those who knew Dominic well, these descriptions of Dominic’s prayers highlight the Dominican value for the body even in our conversation with God. The Last Will and Testament of St. Dominic is treasured by all Dominicans as the desire of our Holy Father for the direction of our lives.