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The Nine Ways of Prayer of St. Dominic is a treasured Dominican document on St. Dominic’s manner of praying. It was written by an anonymous author, probably at Bologna, between 1260 and 1288. Sister Cecilia of the Monastery of St. Agnes at Bologna (who had received the habit from St. Dominic) and others who had known him personally were most likely the source of this information.

These ways of prayer were the actual practice of our Holy Father. Standing, bowing, kneeling—St. Dominic knew that the gestures of the body could powerfully dispose the soul to prayer. In this experience of bodily prayer, the soul in turn is lifted to God in an act of praise, thanksgiving, and supplication. These ways of prayer are a glimpse into the inner life of St. Dominic and his intense love for God.

Text for The Nine Ways of Prayer (1997) is used with permission of Father Simon Tugwell, O.P. and Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd, publisher.