Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 18 January

Chair of Saint PeterThe Chair of Saint Peter at Rome.

This feast commemorates the day when the Prince of the Apostles, the first of the Popes, came to establish the seat of his sovereignty in Rome. Rome had become like a den of wild beasts and like a tumultuous sea through the pride of its Emperors, the errors of its philosophers, and the worship of its false gods. Peter, who in Judea had feared to walk on the waves, now advances boldly towards the idolatrous city, there to plant the Cross which he was soon to seal with his blood. Thus was fixed at Rome the centre of the Catholic Church, the supreme seat of the Papacy. When Saint Dominic, in a mysterious vision, supported the Lateran basilica, it was the chair of Peter which he upheld, inspired by filial devotion, but enlightened also by the grace of an apostle, for he saw in it the infallible oracle, charged to confirm the whole Church in justice, in holiness and in truth, sometimes by the strokes of justice, sometimes by decisions on points of doctrine, sometimes by paternal exhortations. In return for this devotion what blessings have descended from the Holy See on the Order of Saint Dominic, on its teaching, on its confraternities, on all its religious both friars and nuns, within and also without the pale of Christendom.

Prayer

O Lord, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, I believe in Thee, and I desire to serve Thee, my God, worthily.

Practice

Say the second Psalm for the triumph of the Church and of the Sovereign Pontiff over all his enemies, especially those who abuse the civil power with which they are invested.