Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Blessed Reginald of Orleans and The Dominican Habit

We have our Blessed Mother and today’s Dominican saint, Bl. Reginald of Orleans, to thank for the Dominican habit as we recognize it today.

After having taught Canon Law and making a pilgrimage to Rome, Bl. Reginald had resolved to enter the Order and had even made his vows in the hands of St. Dominic, when he fell dangerously ill of fever. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him, accompanied by Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Cecilia, and asked him what he most desired. By the advice of one of the two saints, he left it to the wisdom of Our Blessed Lady to do as she thought best. Then our Blessed Mother cured him, anointed his feet to prepare him to preach the Gospel of peace, and gave him the habit which in her maternal goodness she had made and which she desire to see worn by the sons and daughters of the Order of Preachers, saying, “Behold the habit of thine Order.” Previous to this, the friars were wearing a surplice common to the canons, but the habit given by Mary replaced the surplice with a scapular (the long piece of fabric that sits on the shoulders and covers the front and back of the tunic).

Vision_of_the_Dominican_Habit__Workshop_of_Angelico___National_Gallery_London_

Bl. Reginald, having regained his health, preached with such eloquence that he seemed like another Elijah and was even compared to St. Paul. By his ability in governing, his prudence, charity and firmness, he became the right hand of St. Dominic, who seemed to be preparing him to be his successor.
But God soon took him away from the love of his brethren. He had already done enough for the Order, in receiving and transmitting to it the Scapular of Mary, who has been called the Blessed Vestiarian of the Order. He died preaching by his words and works Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and having his eyes raised, according to his custom, toward Heaven.

Blessed Reginald, favorite of the Queen of Heaven, obtain for us the innocence and humility symbolized by the black and white habit of the Friars Preachers.

Bl. Reginald, pray for us.

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