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Written by Fr. Joseph Ellul OP

Translated by Fr. Dominic Scerri OP


Keep as your pattern the sound teaching you have heard from me in faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.  You have been trusted to look after something precious; guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

(2 Tim. 1:13)



The Order of Preachers is an Order of persons instructed in the truths of faith and in those sciences that lead to the spread of the Good News and the salvation of souls.  The importance which studies, obtained along the years in the Order, are a witness of the serious measure taken and of the responsibility of the mission also entrusted to the Order.


The birth of the University

A great void in the culture of the European nations was created with the fall of the Roman Empire in 476.  The Benedictine and Celtic monks used to take care of the Greek and Roman cultural and religious heritage.  Monastries like the ones at Liege, Tours, Bec, Mont Saint Michel, Salerno and Montecassino became education centres.  Teaching at the monasteries was probably addressed to the contemplation of God by means of the meditation of of the Sacred Scriptures and of the writings of the Fathers of the Church.  The Lectio Divina  stood out prominently together with poverty, silence and cloister recollection.


From the 11th to the 12th centuries, there was a cultural revival and a deep effort in the literary field.  Developments in the theological thinking, in literature, art and archtecture were also beginning to crop up.  The awakening was moving step by step with the development of the cities and the new culture which was born in them.  The teachers were now looking for cities and gave birth to unions which by time developed to set up a university under the headship of a chancellor.


The universitylike culture which came to life in the 12th century was different from the monastic one.  You naow had a new generation where education began to be considered as the key to success in the professional career.  Thus, the university students were different from those usually found in monasteries.  They were ambitious for success; they disgusted thetraditional teaching; on many occasions they lacked balance and used to follow teachers that, at the time, were fashionable.


Due to all this, a certain antagonism was born between the search for truth due to an ascetic and mytic life and the dialectic method and the intellectual discourse.  The case of the conflict in Paris between St Bernard and Peter Abelard is a clear example.  This clearly shows that there’s a sea in between the concept and goal of studies at the monastic tradition and the cathedral schools on one side and that known as “scholastic” that embraced the universities on the other.


Contrary to monastic life, the university one did not offer any shelter where the filter of thought comes in.  It used to accept ideas irrespective of their origin and it had no power or will to stop them.  In other words, these two centuries witnessed a full intellectual revolution.


The Christian victories in Spain opened the way for the teaching and wisdom of the Islamic Arabs in every scientific field to be seen in Western Europe.  Their works in the field of medicine, of mathematics, astronomy and mostly of philosophy began to be translated to Latin.  Above all, these philosophical writings were the interpretation of thought of Plato and Aristotle together with those of Plotin and the Historians.  These works were scattered in the universities and centres of teaching of the European continent.


The philosphical writings of the Islamic thoughts  were already being used at the universities of Paris and Naples.  In a short time, Paris became an intellectual centre of Christianity as an international school of philosophy, theology and Scripture.  New ideas were being practised without being filtered by the critical mind.  This was indeed a natural shock to society and to the Church in the Middle Ages.  They did not only teach works of pagan minds but these same subjects came to Christian Europe by the Islamic teachers dubbed as infidels.  This problem, as we shall see later, had to be confronted by St Thomas.


 On the other side there was the university at Bologna which had been Paris’ rival for a long time.  It had a different tradition and a diverse type of organization.  It was an international centre for the study of Roman Law.  Those who later were to be state leaders, and the jurists who had to design civil laws  studied at these universities.  Later the eccelsiastical aspect was introduced: the study of Canon Law, the laws on which the structure of the Church is and run.  Pope Alexander III and Pope Innocent III, who later carried great reforms in the Church, were the result of this study.


Saint Dominic and the university movement


In this time of intellectual and cultural ferment, Saint Dominic was all the while travelling between France and Italy, Personally, he experienced intellectual life.  He studied philosophy and theology at Palencia which, in the beginning of the 13th century, grew into a university.


On the 15th August 1217, having a small community of preachers, about sixteen in all, he sent four to Spain and seven to Paris.  It was there that the  first students joined the Order like Blessed Jordan of Saxony who, as I mentioned before, was elected succeeding Dominic as leader, and who personally writes to whom he used to confess. (1)  With him,  It is worthwhile to mention Blessed Henry of Maastricht. 


In the successive year, two of those who were in Spain, together with another two from Paris, went to Bologna.  Reginald of Orleans, versed in Canon Law, joined the other four.  Reginald had met Saint Dominic in Rome.  Thus, from its beginning, the Order of Preachers succeeded to receive the university movement.


Here, it is worthwhile to ask what made Saint Dominic consider this movement.  Maybe, one can propose three main reasons:

  1. He understood the importance of learning for the Preacher Brothers.  He wanted them to be open to cultural and intellectul movements of the time.

  2. Saint Dominic also realised the need not to limit the aim of the Order to a simple war against heresy.  He wanted the Order to establish a lively dialogue with society and culture of his time and of every age.

  3. Saint Dominic also had the courage to present to professors and university students of his time the greatest challenge of their life:  their ambition to succeed in their social career and change it to an ambition of saving thmselves and  win others for Christ through the grace of preaching.  This is the highest call that human mind can afford.


Studies as the main means of preaching

Saint Dominic always insisted on the need of studies.  While still at Tolouse, he sent the Brothers to attend classes of the English theologian Alexander Stavensby who was teaching at the cathedral school of that city.   To this end also, writes Blessed Jordan of Saxony, when bishop Foulques of Tolouse entrusted Dominic with the church of St Romain, “a cloister was immediately built, with good enough cells for studies, and to sleep in on the upper corridor”(2). His aim was not for the Brothers to show how intelligent they are and how many things they know but for studies to serve as tools for preaching the Word of God, so that this is explained in the right way and for the salvation of souls.


Here it is worthwhile to show that which Hugh of Saint Cher wrote in Postilla super Genesim while commenting Genesis 9:13.  He adds a glossary (note) by the word arcus (bow): Arcus tenditur in studio, postea sagittatur in praedicatione ( the bow is first stretched through studies, then the arrow is set free through preaching).  The allegory has come to mean the strength of studies that show the way that preaching has to take in all its forms, either from the pulpit or by means of writing and also if seen through paintings and in choirs or in music.  It is through studies that preachers are trained to spread the Good News of salvation, raise hearts to God, befriend them with God by means of the sacrament of Penance, and sanctify them by receiving the Eucharist.


It is worthy  to join this point  with that written in the 2009 Acts of the Provincial Chapter:

Studies are an integral dimension in our life.  They allow the development of each person’s potential  and improves the quality of the preparation that each one of us should strive for to be a good catechist and preacher.  They are tools that help us discover new horizons in whom we confess our faith.  It is indispensable that, with great humility, we look at the complexity of human experience and at the mystery of God.  While the people of God look to us for direction, we should also show the we are in a pilgrimage of faith seeking to live according to God’s will and our vocation.  This begging is frequently missing from our sermons.  Humility and obedience are a sign of the maturity of the intelligent (3).

In this context, it is worth mentioning that Saint Dominic wanted the thirst for studies to be watered with prayer.  To be more clear, he wanted studies to be a prayer while prayer to be studies.  He realised that the Word of God was to be read with humility, with an open heart and a lively faith that enters the core of the mystery of the love of God.  For the Preacher, like in the case of the Prophet, the first question needed is not “what am I going to say?” but “what is God saying?”and then ”what does God want me to say?”  Studies go hand in hand with the hearing to the Word; it requests silence while we wait for the Word of God comes to visit us.  That is the only way we need to preach and teach.


Saint Dominic himself used to study the Scripture text, worship the Word of God, and get to the core of its message by means of prayer and meditation.  That is why, on the Saint Dominic’s  example, the dominican embraces the principle that he who studies well prays well, and who prays well also studies well.  The more one studies the Word of God the more one’s eagerness to pray, and the more one is eager to pray, the more one would want to know God by means of studying his Word.  This concept we find very nicely and profoundly explained in an allocutio that Pope Paul VI made to the Pontifical Biblical Commission on the 14th March 1974.  While reminding that God manifests himself to him who is small and humble and not to him who is clever and can understand, he quotes the following from St Augustine:


To students of Sacred Scripture, books which deserve so much merit, I warn them to learn the modes of discussion of Scripture and how to use them, and not only to learn them well and keep them in mind, but also and above all to pray to be able to understand them (4). 


Orent ut intelligant.  The Sacred Scriptures need to be not only books, on and  which, we study but also books on and by which we pray.


The first years of the Order

It’s best to stop for a moment to consider the general orientation and the educational policy of the Order from the time of Saint Dominic to the death of Blessed Jordan.  Our Order boasts of a great intellectual tradition, and this tradition is strengthened by the fact we earlier considered, that the great majority of those who became dominicans during Saint Dominic’s time came from the university environment.  We are known as being at the  forefront of that which had to do with the philosophical movements of the 16th centry,  and that persons like Saint Albert and Saint Thomas are proof of the progressive vision of the Order.  But the process which the Order went through to arrive at this point shows that the link between the Order and philosphical studies and other sciences had many shades.


An Order whose founder had fought heresy and that now was set up to spread and defend the orthodox faith (5), has every interest to be orthodox in its teaching.  During the  first years of the Order, studies were limited to theology, that which St Paul calls “the entire teaching”(6), “the good teaching” (7) or “the sound teaching” (8).  In all this, one notes the example of the Founder himself.  Saint Dominic had his education in liberal arts at palencia.  But, as Blessed Jordan says:


... then, when he thought he had learned enough, he left that kind of teaching as he was afraid that it would not serve him anything for those times, and he dedicated himself to theological studies.  His earnest wish was for Sacred Scriptures which he felt sweet to taste, and which he spent four years studying; his persevereance and thirst for the Sacred Scriptures were so great that he spent nearly whole nights of study without sleep orfeeling tired (9).


Later on, as a regular canon at Osma, he savoured the traditional monastic theology and became known for the contemplation of the Bible, and more for the Gospel of St Matthew and the Letters of St Paul.  It is said that he used to carry them with him and knew them by heart (10).


One detail which should not be neglected is found in the Vitae Fratrum of Gerard Frachet where this incident is narrated:


A student, after hearing the blessed Saint Dominic preaching a very good sermon, asked him which books he studied, more ao as he heard him explaining the Sacred Scriptires he used to love.  The blessed man replied: “My son, I studied more in the book of love than in another book; because that book teaches everything.” (11).


This example shaows that there could have been a certain fear by some individuals in the Order who wished studies to be balanced in a way to avoid these being the sole aim, and thus resulting in pride.


Besides, as the Order of Preachers was set up as a clerical Order, it had to be subject to the directives of Canon Law regarding the formation of clerics.  When they were about to design the Constitutions of the Order in 1220, the Brothers gathered for the First General Chapter in Bologna drew up certain limits for that which had to do with the education programme of the Order:


Students should not study books of pagans and  philosophers, although they are allowed to have a short look at them.  They are not to follow secular sciences, nor art so called liberal, yet the young Brothers and also the rest are to read only books on theology (12).’

The prohibition to read pagan works could already be found in the Decrees of Gratian (13), while that of reading the works of philosophers reflected the restrictions that used to exist in those times, regarding teaching that used to be inspired in universities.   Anything that has to do with secular sciences and with liberal arts used to reflect the legislation of the Church in the 12th and 13th centuries.  What is interesting in this context is the verb “continue”.  Many of the Brothers at the Chapter were already trained in the liberal arts, and to them Saint Dominic himself should be added.  Their aim was to show clearly that theology was central to the spiritual and educational project of the Order as an institution, and to its members as clerics.


This, however, did not stop the debate in the Order, more so because of the greater part of the professors and the university students, trained in liberl arts and philosophy, who were joining the Order.  Many used to stress the importance of studies of liberal arts and natural philosophy as a help to theological study.  In the General Chapter of 1228, this caused an emendment in the Constitution saying that Dominican students should not follow secular sciences and not even liberal art “until periodically in some cases either the Master of the Order or the General Chapter do not dispense otherwise” (14).  This added clause left the door open to future developments, and this on the strength of the use of the dispensation in the interest of studies.  The introduction of the dispensation for reasons of study is found in the first Constitutions of the Order.  The Brothers in Chapter adopted this custom from the Premonstratensis.  Through clauses purposely inserted, priors were permitted to change the time when the chapter of faults used to be held daily; on certain instances, they were could also do away with it permanently because of academic reasons.  The same could be applied to the precepts of fasting and abstinence which could be changed if these obstructed the service of preaching.  On the other hand, carelessness of teaching and learning were treated as grave faults that asked for harsh punishments.

One of those who contributed largely to set up this process of development in the Order’s legislation was Roland of Cremona.  He already was magister atrium and regent of the faculty of Medicine at Bologna when he joined the Order, and that is why he was instrumental for the Brother Preachers to look to the teaching of these sciences from a more informed perspective.  In his writings, he examined the link between theology and the other sciences.  He states that the master in theology should not teach in public so long as he is not versed in philosophy, particularly in logic, to avoid being misled by false arguments.  He also states that the same masters in theology are also to be trained in medicine, because of the allegories and moral teachings that are delivered by the properties of things (15).  In his writings, Roland of Cremona follows the teaching of Tolomew and also of Aristotle while criticising them where he deems them to be mistaken, in the same way he criticises the philosophers of his time when these follow the ancient philosophy and set aside the teachiing of Scripture.  He was also the first to realise that there is no necessary contradiction between the two instruments of theological discourse, that is the auctoritas of the Bible and the ratio of philosophy.  The two are necessary.


This argument is strengthened by the successes Blessed Jordan was acquiring in that which had to do with the entrance of new members in the Order who before were students or professors in secular sciences or in liberal arts in the universities of Padova and Oxford (16).  It is interesting to have a look at this observation of he same Blessed Jordan which we find listed in the Vitae Fratrum:


Once he was asked the reason why those who study the wisdom of the world and philosophy join quicker the Order, while theologians and canonists take long to decide; and he replied: “... philosophy students that for a whole week drink the water of Aristotle and other philosophers, when on Sundays or on a feastday they taste the strong word of Christ and his preachers, they immediately get drunk with wine from the Holy Spirit, and they give God not only all they have, but also their own self.  But the theologians hear frequently these words, and thus it happens to them as it does to the sacristan who, as he passes many times in front of the altar, he only shows a little respect and gives it his back, while others go on respectfully on their knees in front of it (17).

This development process in the mind and vision of how the Order is to carry out its mission is a witness of a lively and excited debate as also one of great dynamism in the internal life of the Order.  This debate that carried the Order to the supreme court of the academic life is incarnated in the life and works of St Thomas Aquinas, and in the mode of how the dialogue between Christian life and reason was created.  In his encyclical Fides et Ratio,  Pope John Paul II  had this to say:

There is a special place reserved for St Thomas in this long walk, not only because of what is contained in his teaching, but also because of the dialogue that he was able to have with the Arab and Jewish teaching of his time.  At the time when Christian studies were discovering the ancient philosophical treasures, mostly of Aristotle’s philospophy, St Thomas obtained great merit when he showed the existence of harmony between reason and faith.  The light, of faith and reason, result from God, argues St Thomas, therefore they cannot be against each other.  St Thomas, in a most radical way, perceived that nature, the proper object of philosophy, can help so that one understands the Revelation of God.  Thus, faith is not afraid of reason but looks for it and leads it to perfection, likewise faith sustains reason and leads it to perfection ... (18).


This dialogue which the Order has always interpreted as a challenge and an incentive for the preaching mission, nowadays and the more time goes bye,  is becoming more urgent.  St Thomas had to make war on two fronts.  He wanted to safeguard the liberty for the studies of pagan philosophers that entered Europe by means of infidel philosophers like Averroes.  On the other side, he also wanted to defend the doctrine of the Church from those guilty of  ill-gotten gains from these philosophers.

Mission and the system of teaching

From the beginning of its founding, the Order acknowledged the need of good teachers who could form good preachers.  This results clearly in the life and teaching of St Thomas Aquinas.  In his inaugural speech as master of theology at the university of Paris in May 1256, St Thomas choose a verse frm  Psalm 104:


Rigans montes de superioribus tuis 
et de fructu operum tuorum satiabitur terra.

(Ps. 104:13)[19]

St Thomas’ argument, inspired from the principle of Pseudo-Dionysius was the following: As the rain from the heavens falls on the mountains and creates rivers that water the thirsty earth and make it fertile to bear fruit, God likewise showers his divine wisdom on people by means of teachers.


These teachers are compared to mountains for three reasons:

  1. Mountains are high and their daybreak enlightens and offers shelter from destruction.  Likewise, teachers set themselves free from worldly matters and search only those from heaven.

  2. Mountains are the first to be lit with the rays of the sun.  Likewise, the learned in Scripture are the first to be enlightened  having a share of God’s wisdom.

  3. Mountains provide shelter to valleys, likewise the masters safeguard faith from any errors.


Therefore, masters are to be above others in their life and deeds in order to enlighten the faithful with their preaching, their students with their teaching, and also to defend faith with their arguments bringing to nothing every error.  Regarding the three tasks of preaching, learning and argumentation, the test of the Letter to Titus says: “so that he can encourage everyone expounding the sound doctrine and refuting those who argue against it”(Tit.1:9).


Those who heed the teachers are then likened to the earth which is watered from by rivers, and this too for three reasons: because the earth lies low, it is sound, and fertile.  Therefore, he who hears:

  1. is to be humble receiveing the blessed doctrine;

  2. is to be sound realizing what is good and which is bad;

  3. is to bear fruit so that, as he hears well enough, he puts into effect that which he would have heard.


As to that which has to do with communication, there are three points to be considered:

  1. As the master cannot discern all of God’s wisdom, in a similar way he cannot communicate all that he knows.

  2. Only God has this wisdom in itself; masters have a large share but not a full part.  The congregation, on their part, have that share enough for them to bear fruit. Therefore, the wisdom given is not the result of masters as the first fruits is not the result of mountains, but of God

  3.      who is above all things and over everyone.

  4. The strength of communication  is found, first and foremost, in God and after in masters.  The latter are nothing more than ministers of wisdom.  But for these to be truly ministers of wisdom, they need to be decorated with four qualities: innocence, teaching, enthusiasm, and obedience.

Although no one, on his own, can manage this ministry, one hopes that this comes from God: “All our qualifications come from God” (2 Cor 3:5).  Thus, the master is to ask for them from God: “If there is any one of you who needs wisdom, he must ask God, who gives to all freely and ungrudgingly; it will be given to him” (James 1:5).


In this discourse, St Thomas was embodying Saint Dominic’s ideal that  looked to teaching and studies as the main means that lead to effective preaching.  He explained the ideal by means of the phrase contemplari, et contemplata aliis tradere (20).

Therefore, to have good preachers there has to be good teachers.  This is not only valid for teaching at university level but even in the same convents.  The years following the death of Saint Dominic witnessed great developments of the way the teaching of students and of the communities had to be organized.  This led, among other things, to the set up of the conventual school run by the conventual lector.  For its sake, the lector used to draw a preparatory programme centered on the study of the Scripture, of the Historia scholastica of Peter Komestor (a guide to the biblical history), and the Sentences of Peter Lombardo.  The reading and study of the biblical text had to lead one to understand, first and foremost, its historical sense, and this had to serve for one to grasp the structure of the story and also its literal sense.  This method then had to lead the Brother Preachers in formation (for the priesthood and also those permanent) to arrive at a spiritual sense of the allegorical and moral (or anagogic) type.  Sharing of the theological teaching is here to be considered.

Together with these lessons there was also the custom of the Dispute. The disputes’ exercise was not something foreign to the Order.  After all, Saint Dominic used them many times during his meetings with the heretics in the south of France.  The first Constitutions of the Order designed in 1220 already speak of Disputations, doubtfulness, and questions and these were strengthened by the Ratio Studiorum designed by St Albert the Great, St Thomas Aquinas, Bonhomme of Brittany and Florence of Hesdin and published by the General Chapter of 1259.  On the strength of this exercise, the Preacher Brothers in formation would not only bear strong roots in the explanation of Christian doctrine but they would also be able to sift and defend it.  All this meant that every convent was asked to have a library capable to satisfy such needs.  


There were also lessons in theology named practical or applied.  It’s not enough for the preacher to know the difference between orthodox learning and learning that is not so.  But he had to know how to practice and apply it especially during the sacrament of penance.  In the beginning of the 14th century, the so-called praedicatores in convent began to be sent in the main convents of the Order.  They were responsible for the teaching of the theory for preaching; they also preached publicly at the conventual church.  The Brothers in formation were expected to be present in church.


Finally, it is worthwhile to name the so-called Studia Linguarum.  These schools of languages were set up, first and foremost, as training schools for those Brothers that were preparing to go to mission lands.  One would find them in those provinces whose territories were on the frontier of countries which did not profess the Catholic Faith and whose peoples’ language was unknown to Europe of the time.  Among these countries, it’s worth naming the Balkans, Northern Africa and Spain (which still had a good number of Muslims among its population).  In 1250, the Provincial Chapter of Spain prepared plans to establish a convent in Northern Africa, and for this project to flourish, the study of Arabic was necessary.  This was carried out by order of the Master at the time, John of Wildeshausen (also known as John the Teutonic).  Among the past students of this school, it’s worth mentioning Ramon Martin, the author of a manual named Pugio Fidei.  Another Dominican known as the founder of a convent and school of Arabic in Tunis and another of Hebrew in Murcia is St Raymond of Penafort.  St Raymond not only thought of nullifying heresy but also of the evangelisation of the Jews and Muslims.  But it was Blessed Humbert of Romans who eventually carried out this process of establishing schools of languages.  In an encyclical letter he sent to the Order from the General Chapter celebrated in Milan in 1255, he stated:

I talk to you in love and state that, from the beginning that I was elected to lead the Order, I heartily felt  a number of wishes.  One of them, not the least, is that by virtue of the ministry of our Order, the separated christians will again join the union of the Church, and that the name of Our Lord Jesus C hrist will get to the Jews, the Muslims, the pagans, the barbarians and to all nations so that they become his witness for the salvation of all up to the end of the earth ...

Someone among you may perhaps be enlightened by grace and feel ready so that, if permitted by the superior,he  studies Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, or another language that infuture could help him in the work for salvation ... (21).


His nurtured prayer found an answer that went beyond his hopes.  That was the reason why many Brothers went to preach in Prussia and in Georgia among Cumans and Tartars, and also joined the provinces of Greece and of the Sacred Land.

Studies and mission of the Order at present

Today, our society is also experiencing a battle.  This time it is between religious fundamentalism and secular fundamentalism.  The former only offers false securities; it states that it has the answers to all existent problems; it does not accept Scripture’s dynamic interpretation which puts the reader in crisis; there is no place for discussion and lack of agreement and also for creativity; moral life is only made from precepts “that are only human regulations ” (22).      Religious fundamentalism does not allow the most basic questions on life and on the stance of man.

On the other hand, the secular fundamentalism treats religion as a symptom of ignorance; it does not accept religion’s share in society; it does not let one instance to pass that it does not ridicule all that the religious man treats as a saint; it exposes to ridicule the religious belief in order to destroy it forever.  It treats those who preach their religion as superstitious men, having a closed mind, lacking wisdom and reason.   


These two fundamentalisms are indicative of the two scourages of our time: ignorance and mediocrity.  Their goal is the fear of truth; their result is intollerance.

Timothy Radcliffe (23) in his letter to the Order under the name of The Wellspring of Hope (24) draws  many reflections on the need of study and its application to the Dominican life today.


Study is a challenge for us to free ourselves from the noose of experience.  Many are those (sometimes also found in our communities) that give a bad look to study; they identify it as indoctrination.  Study should fee us from the trap of easy replies and of human certainties.


Study is the search for truth.  Its roots are found in the most profound questions that come out of man’s mind and heart.  St Thomas likewise started when, as a Benedictine oblate at Montecassino, he asked his master: “Who is God?”.  Studies have to lead us to comprehend that searching for truth  is a noble case, because, after all, it’s a search without stopping to  enter into the core of the mystery of Christ.  The best teacher is not he who fills your mind with facts, but  he who moves  you enthusiastically to search.


Study is an act of faith.  There is always the risk of mistakes in our reflections.  Even children fall many times before they learn to walk.  This should not be frightening but should lift our hearts as he who called us to search him is the same one who many times says “get up, pick up your sleeping-mat and walk” (25). 


Studies are an art of love to God and man.  This is the meaning of the phrase contemplari, et contemplata aliis tradere.  St Paul personally stated: “ For this is  what I received from the Lord: and in turn I passed on to you” (26).  In this context, Radcliffe calls studies “an eucharistic act” becuse you will be receiving this gift from God and passing it to others (27).


[1] See Bl. Jordan of Saxony, On the beginnings of the Order of Preachers, n. 3

[2] Jordan of Saxony, op.cit., n. 44.

[3] Acts of the 45th Provincial Chapter of the Province St. Pius V of the Order of Preachers (22 May - 12 June 2009), Malta 2009), p. 39, n. 108.

[4] St Agustine, On The Christian Teaching (De doctrina christiana) Augustinian Province, Malta 2004, Book Three, p.144, 37.56.

[5] See bull Religiosa vitam of Pope Onorius III published on 22 December 1216 by which our Order was approved.

[6] See 1 Tim 1:10; 2 Tim 1:13

[7] See 1 Tim 4:6.

[8] See 1 Tim 6:3.

[9] Blessed Jordan of Saxony, op.cit.,nn.6-7.

[10] Witness of St John of Spain, Process of the Canonisation in Bologna, n.29.

[11] Vitae Fratrum of Gerard Frachet O.P. Second Part, Chapter 25, n.88.

[12] “[Studentes] in libris gentilium et philosophorum non studeant, etsi ad horam inspiciant. Seculares scientias non addiscant, nec etiam artes quas liberales vocant, sed tantum libros theologicos tam iuvenes quam alii legant.” Constitutiones antiquae, I.28, p. 361.

[13] See Decretum, 37.1.1.

[14] Constitutiones antiquae, I.28, p. 361. As amended, the Constitution used to be read: “Seculares scientias non addiscant nec etiam artes quas liberals vocant – nisi aliquando circa aliquos magister ordinis vel capitulum generale voluerit aliter dispensare – sed tantum libros theologicos tam iuvenes quam alii legant”.

[15] See Rolandu of Cremona, Postilla in Job.

[16] See The letters of Blessed Jordan of Saxony to Blessed Diana d’Andalo’, particularly the one bearing the date July-August 1223 (ms.n.XX), that written after Easter 1224 (ms.n.XL) and that written in January 1230 (ms.XVI, Aron 32).  In this last one Blessed Jordan compares the entry of so much people from the academic life a nice catch of fish.

[17] Gerard Frachet O.P., op. cit., p84f., n. 153.

[18] John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, n. 100, n. 43.

[19] Lit. As you water the mountains from your high stores/the earth will have its fill from fruits. The original text in Latin is taken from Vulgata: the Chuch’s official language.

[20] See Summa Theologica, IIa IIae, q. 188 art. 6,  corp.

[21] See Proper of the Order of Preachers: Liturgy of the Hours, Maltese Dominican Province, Malta   

      1988, p. 266f.

[22] See Mk. 7:7; Is. 29:13.

[23] Master of the Order from 1992 to 2010.

[24] Timothy Radcliffe, “The Wellspring of Hope: Study and the Annunciation of the Good News” in To Praise, To Bless, to Preach: Words of Grace and Truth, Dominican Publications, Dublin 2004, pp. 349-374.

[25] Jn. 5:8.

[26] 1 Cor. 11:23.

[27] Radcliffe, op. cit., p. 355.

[28] Jordan of Saxony, op. cit., n. 7.

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