|Detail of a painting by Sr. Mary of the Compassion, OP, Union City, NJ|
Just one week after the glorious feast of All Saints, on November 7 each year, the Dominican Order celebrates the feast of All Saints of the Dominican Order. On this occassion we look into our Family history and recognizes the many holy souls that have followed in the footsteps of St. Dominic. The big ones, like St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert the Great, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Martin de Porres, have their own day on the calendar of the universal Church. But there are many others whose information has not been processed by the necessary channels to be declared Saints or even Blesseds. And this is the day when we notice these hidden ones and glory in their attainment of the heavenly mansions.
Many of these are people that we have lived with in our convents and monasteries. Even those who were difficult to live with may have washed their robes in the Blood of the Lamb and joined the Saints in glory. As the old saying goes:
To read about the Saints
It’s all bliss and glory.
To live with them
Is a different story.
One of these lesser known saints is St. Agnes of Montepulciano (1268-1317). In 1306 she was called upon to found a Dominican monastery in her home town. She gained a reputation for holiness even outside the monastery and at one time raised to life a child who had been drowned. At her death the children of the town awoke and cried out, " Holy Sister Agnes is dead". Her tomb became a place of pilgrimage. It is noted that when St. Catherine of Siena went to venerate the body of her sister in the Order, Agnes raised her foot so Catherine would not have to stoop so far. Agnes was canonized in 1796. Her feast is celebrated on April 20.