When we celebrate the Jubilee of 800 years of the Order, nothing could be better than going back to the source, the original background. It was what a group of 51 members of the Portuguese Dominican Family did, between 26 and 29 June: lay Dominicans, friars, sisters and friends were on a pilgrimage to Caleruega, Saint Dominic’s birthplace.
On the way, in Salamanca, we visited the beautiful Convent of San Esteban, founded in 1225 and where the important philosopher Francisco de Vitoria lived and taught, significant in the history of the Order history and in the defence of human rights.
We then went on to Caleruega where we arrived in the evening, being lodged in the Priory of the friars.
The second day could not have started better with Morning Prayer in the Chapel of the Well of Santo Dominic, a magnificent and very welcoming and inspirational space.
We were able to go to Osma, the city and the cathedral where St. Dominic was canon and where lie the remains of his bishop Diego, the major driver of the beginning of a new form of preaching that Dominic would continue for the rest of his life and that led him to found his own Order of Preachers.
In the late afternoon we were privileged to go to Santo Domingo de Silos, and participate in Vespers in the Benedictine monastery with its wonderful chorus of brothers to inspire us all. On Sunday morning we had the Eucharist in the friars’ beautiful Priory chapel in Caleruega, where we said goodbye before being driven to Palencia, the university town where Dominic studied.
And from there we went back to our homes, invigorated by the fraternal relationship among the members of the Dominican Family and the grace of having been in places that were not just full of history, but that also served as a training and inspiration to our mission, wishing to be inspired and to maintain our vocation as preachers of the Gospel.