Our Lady of the Rosary
Special Patroness and Protectress of Lay Dominicans
The Blessed Virgin Mary has a special place in the hearts of all Dominicans. From the very beginning of the Order, it has been dedicated by St. Dominic to the service and honor of the Mother of God. The Blessed Mother responded by placing the Order under her protection, proved several times in the Order's long history, often with miracles and divine intervention. Our Lady of the Rosary is the special patroness and protectress of Lay Dominicans.
The Feast of the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary over the Order of Preachers is celebrated on May 8.
The Blessed Mother and the Order
When Satan and his fallen angels started attacking the first brethren for their success in leading people back to God and the Church, the second Master of the Order, Blessed Jordan of Saxony, decreed that the Salve Regina be sung by everyone after Compline (Night Prayer) as a means of invoking our Blessed Mother's powerful protection. The writings of Blessed Cecilia also tell us that, one time, St. Dominic saw the Blessed Mother enter the room they were sleeping in, and blessed his brethren with holy water.
Tradition says St. Dominic received the Rosary from the Blessed Mother and from our Lord Jesus, as a powerful means of converting even the most stubborn heretics. Today, the rosary has become one of the most important devotions in the Catholic Church.
The Dominican Habit and Scapular
The Dominican habit, especially the scapular, also came from the Blessed Mother. When Blessed Reginald of Orleans fell ill in Rome, St. Dominic begged for Mary's intercession. Bl Reginald then received a vision: Mary anointed him with oil and showed him the habit Dominicans are to wear, emphasizing the importance of the scapular as an intrinsic part of their clothing. At once, Bl Reginald was healed, quickly joined the newly-founded Order of Preachers, and relayed to St. Dominic the instructions of the Virgin Mary as to their new habit.
As a sign of their devotion to her, Lay Dominicans not only pray the rosary everyday or carry a rosary with them at all times. The Lay Dominican Scapular of the Philippine Province, worn daily by members, features, on the front part, an imprint of the image of the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary.