This year marks a special year dedicated to the “Preacher of Grace,” which began with the Epiphany 2021 and will end on January 6, 2022. It marks eight centuries from the dies natalis, the day of heavenly birth of Saint Dominic de Guzmán (Caleruega, Spain 1170 – Bologna, Italy, August 6, 1221), the Founder of the Order of Preachers, also known as Dominican Friars.
Pope Benedict XV (1854-1922), formerly Archbishop of Bologna, which preserves the body of the Saint, dedicated the magnificent encyclical Fausto Appetente Die to that light of holiness:
The Order of Preachers, founded by him, has ever been the stout defense of the Roman Church. And so not only did he strengthen the temple in his time, but he provided for the continuance of the defense. The words of Honorius III in approving the Order seem prophetic: “looking to the brethren of thy Order as the future champions of the Faith and the true lights of the world” (2).