By Pierre Mandonnet, O.P.
Sister Mary Benedicta Larkin, O.P.
CONTENTS FOREWORD INTRODUCTION TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE PROLOGUE
St. Dominic and the Order of Preachers
I. CHRISTENDOM IN THE EARLY THIRTEENTH CENTURY II. THE ORDER OF PREACHERS IN FORMATION III. YEARS OF EXPERIMENTAL ACTIVITY IV. CONSTITUTIONAL ORGANIZATION V. CHARACTER OF ST. DOMINIC VI. NATURE OF THE ORDER OF PREACHERS VII. DEVELOPMENT AND ACTIVITY OF THE PREACHERS VIII. ACADEMIC ORGANIZATION IX. DOCTRINAL LIFE AND THE THOMISTIC SCHOOL X. LITERARY PRODUCTIVITY XI. APOSTOLIC WORK XII. INFLUENCE ON ECCLESIASTICAL AND CIVIL SOCIETY XIII. FOREIGN MISSIONS XIV. SANCTITY AND THE MYSTICAL LIFE XV. LITURGY AND ART XVI. THE PLIGHT OF PREACHING IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY
by Reginald Ladner, O.P.
XVII. EFFORTS OF THE CHURCH TO REVIVE PREACHING XVIII. THE Ordo Praedicatorum XIX. THE ACADEMIC CRISIS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY PART TWO
From the Rule of St. Augustine to
the Rule of St. Dominic
INTRODUCTION SECTION ONE
The Rule of St. Augustine
XX. WHAT IS THE RULE OF ST. AUGUSTINE? XXI. THE RULE OF ST. AUGUSTINE COMPOSED OF TWO TEXTS XXII. THE RULE DECAPITATED SECTION TWO
The Augustinian Rule of St. Dominic
INTRODUCTION XXIII. THE RULE OF ST. AUGUSTINE, TEACHER OF THE APOSTOLIC LIFE XXIV. THE LEGISLATION OF THE PREACHERS XXV. THE PROJECT OF THE RULE APPENDIXES I. AN EMBASSY INTO THE MARCHES by M. H. Vicaire, O.P. II. THE BIRTH OF ST. MARY OF PROUILLE III. THE Sancta Praedicatio IN NARBONNE IV. INNOCENT III, DIEGO, AND DOMINIC IN 1206 V. ST. DOMINIC AND THE POPE IN 1215 VI. Domini Canes by Pierre Mandonnet, O.P. BIBLIOGRAPHY CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
THIS ENTIRE WEBSITE AS domwork.zip
To My Brethren of Le Saulchoir
by Marie-Humbert Vicaire, O.P.
Father Mandonnet died January 4, 1936, bearing away with him the treasure of knowledge he had amassed on the thought, the men, and the institutions of the thirteenth century. Available as witness to the labor of the fifty years he devoted to history, some admirable but only too few studies remain. Where, it may be asked, is the monumental work on St. Dominic and the beginnings of his Order, the design of which Father Mandonnet cherished and consistently forwarded with an enthusiasm and an understanding others could only half appreciate? His intellectual life, his tastes, and his judgments were largely inspired by this precious design. A library, manuscript notes patiently gathered, some penetrating reflections drawn up on occasion for a critical study, and a general outline stand as the material for a book that was never achieved. The posthumous work composed from such material by one of his disciples can in no way fill the void. Nevertheless, however fragmentary the sketches here collected may be, and however considerable our personal contribution, we are persuaded that the St. Dominic we give to the world does not fall too far short of the concept of our master. The very nature of the collected studies gives us that hope. The possibility of this will be the more readily granted, if the thought of Father Mandonnet and a sense of his historical method are grasped.
It was not by chance that Father Mandonnet died without achieving this work. For a long time those about him were aware, and he was aware -- because he knew himself -- that he would not write it. At the close of his life, talking with some of his "petits fréres," he accused himself of idleness. His bibliography dispenses us from having to absolve him of this accusation. As a matter of fact, he had even physically a kind of distaste, which age had deepened, for the toil of writing. What is meant would be appreciated if only he could have been seen at his desk manipulating a heavy fountain pen in his awkward fingers. One day on a slip of paper he wrote the whole secret: "To read, joy; to think, delight; to write, torture."
It was all that. If he detested writing -- each of his books was forced from him -- he loved to read and think. When his Siger de Brabant appeared, critics praised, among other features, the bibliographical knowledge revealed in it. Father Mandonnet had not acquired that knowledge on school benches, but in reading with industry and intelligence. One day a brother who brought some books from a library found him in bed sick. Passing through the room again some minutes later, he saw the sick man seated at the table in his bathrobe, reading in spite of a fever. Father Mandonnet examined whole collections from end to end. Never did he open a book merely to look for a reference; he read it completely, or rather he had already done so. In this way, going straight to the point, he read and annotated the numerous volumes of medieval history which he had collected, one by one, from all the rare-book dealers of Europe.
Thus he developed that keen sense of the tangles and stumps in the field of history which enabled him to avoid snares when he did not have time for minute exploration: "Mandonnet . . . ran into difficulties here, but shrewdly walked round them according to his custom," remarked a certain scholar in a vein of bad humor. Father Mandonnet had cultivated that fruitful intuition which enabled him to put his finger on a decisive document, an essential fact, a hidden cause, which, according to their own lights, either as they were or were not of a stature to appreciate the accuracy and value of these finds, historians were tempted to ascribe, now to an amazing historical flair, now to an efflux of unverifiable hypotheses. Experience has convinced us that our first scandalized reactions at the audacious insight of the master rose only from our ignorance. It happened at times that he followed the lead of his intuitions and seemed to be constructing unwarranted theses; but we did not know all that be knew. If our reading on the theologians of the twelfth century were what his was, would we have questioned, so lightly at times, the equivalence he maintained between the ordo praedicatorum and the ordo doctorum? His solid reliance on documents justified a certain boldness: "Come, my friend," be said to a disciple, who he knew would not abuse the counsel, "off the ground now, get on the trapeze."(1)
What is more profoundly significant, his vast knowledge was not haphazard. On the contrary, it followed the itinerary of an intelligence which directed it over the leading roads of history; the vast network of these roads embraced the field as a whole. Father Mandonnet's intelligence was eminently synthetic. He did not believe that fidelity to a document dispensed from reflection, and his historical thought was at once total, organic, and balanced. He had weighed all human values and ranged them in a pyramidal hierarchy from the base in "our daily bread" to the topmost "peak of civilization," ascending always through the Bread which does not perish. In this edifice of reciprocal causality, every problem, every element, however small it might be, had to take its own place, or, more exactly, find its true dimension. In his eyes, an historical fact was never the fruit of pure scholarly research, but a stone in a pyramid, a link in a chain, a point of convergence; for him that fact had a meaning and a context infinitely extensive.
That is the point to be laid hold of here. Erudition may be multiple and far-reaching, but thought, like truth, is one. In fact, there is not a single one of the learned articles published by Father Mandonnet and collected here which does not contain in substance the whole of his thought. If he lingered on the record of Vitry, the symbol of the dog, or the Summa of Master Paul, it was not for the joy of identifying an anonymous writer or of elaborating on a detail of sacred heraldry; it was to substantiate in the concrete of reality one of his noble ideas about the Order of Preachers. All these studies were complementary and in sequence. They ran the whole length of the life of Father Mandonnet as along the bank of a stream, in the very rhythm according to which his idea developed. They bore the reflection of the intuition which gave them birth. They had only to be linked, like the two segments of Peter's chain, to form but one book.
It would not be rash to suggest that the very force of Father Mandonnet's reflective genius may have caused the sterility of his editorial power. Facts spoke to him of too many things; soon he paused to listen, and delayed for the examination of a point which his historical sense found more weighty still. The incalculable number of projected studies left in his files bear witness to this. A title, a brilliant introduction, then ten blank pages with new titles, indispensable steps in the development of the thought, but these pages remained blank; the article would never be written. It would have taken all the dimensions of a book and would have required ten years of supplementary research. Nevertheless, neither prelude nor title was in vain. Chosen by his synthetic intelligence, it marked out exactly the veins to be worked, those which would render most treasure and contribute necessary ore to attain a balance in the subject. A few lines from his pen held an extraordinary power of suggestion. Father Mandonnet was a stimulator of minds.
One day unexpected circumstances induced Father Mandonnet to put in writing his ideas about St. Dominic. The work was urgent; there was no call for notes. Saint Dominique, l'idée, 1'homme et l'oeuvre soon appeared in a spiritual collection in Belgium in the form of a little book. Short as it was, the idea was there, whole and entire. We are conscious of a certain temerity in attempting to transform into a learned and critical work what was written with the freedom of style authorized by the literary genre of a booklet. How it has supported the experiment is evident. Well indeed has it played that role of light and form which characterize the writings of Father Mandonnet.
Toward the close of Father Mandonnet's life, some reading on the Rule of St. Augustine suddenly reviewed before his eyes several centuries in the history of religious orders and in that of the Preachers in particular. He began to compose a study. Later on when we had completed the work, for it was interrupted by his death, it seemed to us that in its totality the thought of Father Mandonnet had therein found the fulcrum which it had long envisioned and required.(2) In composing the article on the Ordo Praedicatorum, Father Ladner felt the same conviction. Some titles on a folder left by Father Mandonnet opened the way for another study which was, from the first, comprehended in the idea which had conceived the book, St. Dominic.(3) The last word I heard from the mouth of the master, two days before he died when I spoke to him of this project, was that these two studies should form part of it. I have had no hesitation in compiling the whole under his name. St. Dominic and His Work is truly Father Mandonnet's book, though another hand helped to shape it. in spite of its multiple origin it is one, like the idea which inspired it. That the master may not be charged with responsibility for the mistakes of the disciple, we have endeavored always to note the change of hands. At the beginning of each study the name of the author is given.
1 Those who have used the great works of Father Mandonnet know how serious and extensive was his labor over documents. We shall cite an instance hitherto unknown. Before treating of the origin of our Constitutions he thought it indispensable to engage in a minute comparison of the first Dominican legislative texts. He performed this task, preparing a new edition of the Constitutions of Rodez and of Humbert; each phrase was analyzed, traced in various editions, and dated when possible. The enormous manuscript compilation resulting from this heavy labor, loaned by him to Father Lemonnyer, disappeared in Rome at the death of the latter (1932). Fortunately a duplicate of it had been kept by Father Destrez who kindly loaned it to us.
2 Cf. infra, "The Academic Crisis," chap. 19.
3 Cf, infra, Domini Canes, appendix 6.
On several occasions at Fribourg while Father Mandonnet was professor at the University, I had opportunities to question him about St. Dominic and the Order of Preachers to which he was wholeheartedly devoted. I recall the occasion when my inquiry was, to this eminent historian and loyal son of Dominic, a stunning blow. I asked whether the report were true that he did not hold in high esteem St. Dominic as a founder of a religious order. First his silence showed how such a charge wounded a son aflame with love for a father who was his incomparable hero; then, gravely these striking words fell from Father Mandonnet's lips: "You may quote me whenever you wish. I consider St. Dominic as a religious founder the greatest organizer that has ever trod this earth after the Lord Jesus Christ."
Even though the posthumous volume of Father Mandonnet, St. Dominic and His Work, has not come from his pen as his finished product, it is a unique biographical creation as well as a monumental historical survey. We are indebted to a scholarly confrere and disciple who appreciated fully the outlines indicated by Father Mandonnet and who filled them in according to his mind and spirit. Little is said of what is personal to St. Dominic, but his character grows to magnificent proportions viewed on the changing social, economic, and religious horizons of the medieval world. A summa of Dominican beginnings, the volume compellingly shows how the greatness of the ideal of the Order of Preachers consists in reflecting perfectly the mind of the Church.
New and significantly conclusive are the facts about the Rule of St. Augustine, proving that what has been almost universally regarded as drawn from the Epistle to religious women is identical With the primitive Rule formulated by the saint for his first community of men. This proof will recommend Father Mandonnet's study, not only to Dominicans but to all orders and congregations living under the age-old but perennially youthful guide -- the Rule of St. Augustine.
The present volume, as a vital picture of the Church effectively solving crises in an age which battled with chaos for want of the truth even as our own does, should interest both clergy and laity. Viewed in the light of the ever-present apostolic mission of the Church, Father Mandonnet's study should be a challenge to us to meet the conditions of our day, even as the heroic Dominic and his sons met those of their age.
+ John T. McNicholas
Archbishop of Cincinnati
Feast of St. Rose of Lima, 1943.
ST. DOMINIC AND HIS WORK is a translation of St. Dominique, l'idée, 1'homme, et 1'oeuvre by Pierre Mandonnet, O.P., with notes and critical studies by Marie-Humbert Vicaire, O.P., and Reginald Ladner, O.P., published by Desclée de Brouwer & Cie, Bruges, Belgium.
This translation appears as a result of the interest and zeal of the Mother General of the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, at whose word it was undertaken. In the spring of 1939, shortly after the publication of the French edition, our Mother General met Father Vicaire in Fribourg, Switzerland. He then granted permission for the translation.
Five of the more erudite and technical Studies have not been included in this English edition. The matter of the Studies is otherwise comprehensively treated, and the historical specialists to whom they would primarily appeal will have access to the original.
The translator has added references to Disciplinary Decrees of the General Councils by H. J. Schroeder, O.P.
All who have forwarded the preparation of this English volume by any word or work are assured of deep gratitude. Special acknowledgment is due to the Very Reverend Peter O'Brien, O.P., S.T.Lr., Ph.D., Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Albert the Great, River Forest, Illinois, for the examination of the English text of the restored primitive Constitutions of the Preachers, passages from which occur within the work. Appreciation is also due for the scholarly scrutiny of the Reverend Edward L. van Becelaere, O.P., S.T.Lr., who Studied under Father Mandonnet in Corsica half a century ago and saw him at Le Saulchoir not long before be died; and for the invaluable suggestions of the Reverend Patrick M. J. Clancy, O.P., S.T.Lr., J.C.D., in proofreading.
The book is placed under the patronage of Mary Immaculate, Virgo praedicanda, and St. Dominic, Praedicator gratiae, as a prayer that an army of new apostles may arise to carry out the command of Christ: "Praedicate evangelium."
St. Clara Novitiate
Sister Mary Benedicta, O.P.
PrologueAn Order is but the immortal reflection
of a man raised up by God. Lacordaire.
The history of a creative spirit finds its most perfect reflection in the institution it has brought into being. In that achievement all the energies of the genius converge and reach their goal. A lofty and clearly visioned end to be attained; a practical judgment in the choice of means to be employed; an unfaltering will in the use of resources at command: thus, generally and permanently runs the sketch for the life story of the men who have achieved great things during the ages.
The deeds and exploits of these heroes of sacred and profane undertakings capture the attention of the historian to the degree to which they are integrated in the essential problem of their age. The historian regards an anecdote, questionable as it often is, merely as a symbol to indicate a ratio between what was dreamed of and what was achieved. Only in the light of such principles can there be an approach to lives like those of St. Dominic, the Founder of the Order of Preachers, and St. Thomas Aquinas, the creator of Christian pbilosophy and theology: a master of action and a master of contemplation.
In this work there is an attempt to throw into relief the character of St. Dominic as Founder of one of the great religious orders in the
Church by showing how his work was inspired by the needs of Christian society and bow it provided for them in a marvelously adequate way. Emphasis has been laid also on the dominant part which the Church took in the foundation, organization, and propagation of the Order of Preachers; for that is an undeniable truth, and it is but justice to recognize it and proclaim it. St. Dominic sought only to support the Holy See in its designs for the religious reform of the Christian world and for this service to place at its command the force which it had seemed unable to find. The writer of profane history would call him a man of valiant heart; to the historian of the Church he is a hero of apostolic soul. The glory of Dominic, the canon of Osma, will not be dimmed because his person and his deeds are viewed in the sphere of eminent ecclesiastical figures travailing over the perilous state of the world in the early thirteenth century. St. Dominic moved, without effort and with love, within the very orbit of sovereign authority, and thereby became a new star round which satellites rose without number to radiate their light and power in Christendom.
Since his work represents the terminus of his creative energy, the achievements of the Order during the first century are recorded for the purpose of illuminating further the life of St. Dominic, which is sketched but briefly. Thus will be vitalized the account of the development and progress of the institution born of the thought and toil of the holy Founder of the Preachers. It is but natural for one who has watched the planting of a tree to desire also to see it bear its first flowers and yield its first fruits.
B. HERDER BOOK CO.
15 & 17 SOUTH BROADWAY,
ST. LOUIS 2, MO. AND
33 QUEEN SQUARE, LONDON, W. C. 1948
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