Noli me tangere, by Fra Angelico (Blessed John of Fiesole, O.P.) 1430. Basilica di San Marco, Florence, Italy.
Today's Gospel reading (John 20:11-18 / Tuesday of the Octave of Easter) tells us how Mary Magdalene discovered the resurrection of Jesus. She did not immediately recognize the Lord but, when her eyes were opened, she exclaimed, "Rabbouni!" which means "Teacher!" In her overflowing love and joy she rushed to touch the Risen Lord but, He said to her, "Noli me Tangere," or "touch me not," because He had not yet gone to the Father.
The sarcophagus containing the remains of Saint Dominic de Guzman. Basilica di San Domenico, Bologna, Italy. (Credit to the original owner of the photo.)
On May 24, the Dominican Family commemorates the first translation (transfer) of Saint Dominic from his original tomb, which happened precisely on this day in 1233, at the urging of Pope Gregory IX. Many people had been healed of their illnesses after praying for his intercession at his tomb. The transfer was also marked by miracles, proof of Saint Dominic's sanctity. The following year, he was canonized by the Pope.
The following is an account of the transfer, from the letters of Blessed Jordan of Saxony, the second Master of the Order and successor of Saint Dominic.
On the 8th of May, the Dominican family commemorates the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary over the entire Order of Preachers. There is no doubt that from its very beginning, the Dominican family has always been dedicated to the Mother of God. To be a Dominican means to be Marian.
The following is an account of the vision of Saint Dominic, narrated by one of his followers, Blessed Caecilia.
Today, April 29, we celebrate the feast of Saint Catherine of Siena, Lay Dominican, Virgin, and Doctor of the Church. She died this day in Rome in the year 1380, and was canonized in 1461. The following is an account of her final hours, from the Libellus de Supplemento of Tomasso Antonio Caffarini, a disciple of Saint Catherine of Siena.
On the third Sunday of Lent the holy virgin began to succumb completely to the innumerable pains that were daily making themselves felt in her body. She continued to be troubled both interiorly and exteriorly because of the immense mental anguish she suffered on account of the offenses against God which she saw were being perpetrated daily by Christians. She suffered as well because of the dangers which she saw were springing up every day in his holy Church, for whose sake she had so expended herself.
And so she came to the Sunday which that year preceded the Lord’s ascension, April 29, 1380. For about two hours before daybreak the holy virgin took a severe turn for the worse and it was decided that she should be anointed. And so it was done.
Young St. Catherine cutting her hair as a sign of her submission and dedication to the Lord Jesus. (Painting by Alessandro Franchi, located in the House of St. Catherine of Siena)
Saint Catherine of Siena is one of the widely known Dominican saints. Altars in Dominican churches often feature her, along with Saint Dominic, standing beside the cross of Jesus or receiving the rosary from the Virgin Mary. She is often portrayed wearing the Dominican habit although she was never a nun. She is actually a member of the Order of Penitents of St. Dominic, known today as the Dominican Laity. One of the most influential saints of her age, she continued to shape the world and the Church even after her death through her teachings and writings.