May They Rest in Peace: Anniversary of Deceased Friends and Benefactors of the Order of Preachers

Gratitude towards benefactors is a natural virtue, but the grace of Christianity perfects its interior principle and makes its effects more lasting.  When our friends, employees and benefactors have passed into eternal life, gratitude follows them beyond the tomb and assists them by numerous prayers.  Every day before meals the “De Profundis” [Psalm 130] is recited for them, as if we dared not take our bread before recommending to God those to whom, perhaps, we owe it. 

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Today, we commemorate our departed friends and benefactors by a solemn anniversary.  Let each one, therefore, be mindful of it, and thus merit the increased protection of the saints for the work to which we have devoted our life.  This devotion was remarkable in the Ven. Sister Magdalene de Lorca who, while visiting the different altars of the convent church (a devotion very dear to St. Dominic), saw the souls of the departed anxiously following her from one altar to another until she had finished her prayers.

Prayer: My God, grant to the faithful departed friends and benefactors of the Order a place of refreshment, light and peace.

Practice: Before meals, say three Ave Marias for the deceased who have done you good, either spiritual or temporal, either in the world or in religion.

From “Saints and Saintly Dominicans: Daily Reflections on Their Lives”, edited by Rev. Thomas a Kempis Reilly, O.P. (1915).