It was raining heavily and yet this was not a sign of misfortune but instead of a blessing for all the Dominicans and all the devotees of St. Dominic last August 8, 2019. A big crowd of faithful still gathered at the National Shrine of the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary to celebrate the feast of the founder of the Order of Preachers (OP).
The Capuchins as well as other Franciscan congregations were blessed to be invited in the very important occasion. At 5:30 P.M., the liturgical celebration started with the Novena to St. Dominic and the praying of the Holy Rosary. This was followed by the solemn vespers. Finally, following the Dominican tradition, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist was presided by a Franciscan, Fr. Cielito Almazan, OFM, Provincial Minister of the Order of Friars Minor, Province of San Pedro Bautista. He was joined by concelebrating priests from the Dominican Order as well as priests from the branches of the Franciscan Order. The celebration was made extra special with the presence of Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, OP, the first Filipino and Asian to be elected as the Master of the Order of Preachers.
CapuAfter the solemn liturgy, all the Dominicans and Franciscans together with some other guests, went to the Angelicum College gym for the dinner and simple program. Fr. Gerard, who was warmly welcomed, had a short sharing as an opening of the agape. All enjoyed the meal and each other’s company while listening to the songs rendered by various invited choirs. Indeed, after more than 800 years, the deep and intimate spiritual friendship between the holy fathers, St. Dominic and St. Francis of Assisi still lives and manifests in their sons and daughters who are offsprings of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders.