Tradition has it that St Francis and St Dominic met in Rome when they were both there to seek ratification for their new Orders from the Pope. The two Orders have regarded themselves as 'first cousins', even 'brothers', ever since. Where possible, Franciscans come to Dominican churches to preach on the feast of St Dominic and Dominicans go to Franciscan churches to preach on the feast of St Francis. Hence, I find it perfectly fitting, if not desirable, to count among my friends, Franciscan Friars, Franciscan Sisters, and Lay Franciscans. My Cardinal Archbishop, is a Capuchin Franciscan. We're all family.
Then when I met Brother Vito Martinez, OFM Cap, my world expanded to include Br. Vito, the rest of his Novitiate, and his world of formation. We are united in prayer.
When Fr. Vito undertook the apostolate of making rosaries. My interest was really piqued.
I make rosaries. I've tried to make rosaries in the past. OK. I've made one. This one was for a friend making her final profession. I ordered a sterling silver cross with her name engraved. The beads were black and white. The medallion in the middle was Our Lady of Pompeii. It was very Dominican. I had Fr. Richard Fleck, OP, bless it.
The Rosary fell apart.
My craftsmanship was at fault, of course, not the Dominican blessing.
I fixed it for her. Then, again...and...again.... Every time I saw her, she handed me her Rosary to be repaired.
I went out and bought her, her own needle nosed pliers. :-/
I've never made another, although I fix people's rosaries, all the time. Since I do it for free, no one dares complain.
Anyway, I read on Br. Vito's blog that he was making a traditional 15 decade Dominican Rosary for a Dominican nun. Well, I wanted one. That's a lie. I coveted.
I asked; and I received. Br. Vito generously agreed to make a 15 decade traditional Dominican rosary. Imagine. This is great because we Lay Dominicans are buried in habit. We are not allowed to wear full habit, (we wear the scapular for ceremonies) unless it's our shroud. I have a habit. I have a belt. I was dreading making myself the Rosary. And I was going all the way, and making a 20 decade. But God had mercy on me, and brought Br. Vito in my life. Now, I have better.
Did you read what Pope Benedict XVI said about the Dominicans and Franciscans, just this year? He talked about the two Orders being intertwined in love. He spoke of their founders' zeal and apostolic mission. Their unique reading of the times and how this is carried forward today. As in a Franciscan making a Rosary for a Dominican. :-)
Did you know that until the promulgation of "Inter Oecumenici in 1964," the blessing of Rosaries was a reserved blessing, and only priests of the Dominican Order could bless them. That is why the older Roman Rituals did not contain a blessing for Rosaries. However, since Vatican II, any priest or deacon may bless a Rosary using formulas in use from 1964 to 1984 or the formula found in the new Liber Benedictionum of 1984 (LB 506):
May this Rosary and the one who uses it be blessed, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen. That's why I had Father Reynold Rynda, OFM Cap bless my Rosary. See pix.
Having a Franciscan make and bless a Dominican Rosary is the best of both worlds. You can't get any better than that. Note that Franciscan historian Luke Wadding (1588-1657) dates the origin of the Franciscan Crown to the year 1422. He tells the story of a young novice in the Franciscan Order who, previously accustomed to express his devotion to the Blessed Virgin by adorning her statue with a wreath of fresh flowers, was prevented from continuing this practice in the novitiate. In distress, he considered leaving the Order. But the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and instructed him to recite a rosary of seven decades in honour of her seven joys; thus, he might weave a “crown” more pleasing to her than flowers on her statue.
From that time, the practice of reciting the “Crown of the Seven Joys“ became general in the order. Thus it became known as the Franciscan Crown—or the Seraphic Rosary.
Legend tells us that St. Dominic was taught the Rosary from the Blessed Mother. Legend tells us that St. Dominic prayed the Rosary before he preached. Legend tells us that St. Dominic said the Rosary was the best weapon against heretics.
It is fact that the Dominican Pope, Pius V, had his navy pray the Rosary before the Battle of Lepanto. It is fact the a Lay Dominican, Bartolo Longo used the Rosary effectively and built the Shrine of Pompeii. Miracles occur there, today. It is a fact that the Dominicans helped spread devotion to the Rosary.
And it is a fact, that the first time I use my Dominican Rosary, the first decade will be prayed for Fr. Reynold and his intentions, since he blessed my Rosary. The second decade will be for Br. Vito and his intentions. The rest of my rosary intentions are personal.
In Spiritu Patri Dominic et Francis