Saturday, August 8, 2009

Raise a Glass to St. Dominic!

Last year when I shared Chicken with Sauteed Tomatoes for St. Dominic's day, Mary Liz left a comment explaining the connection of St. Dominic with oranges. As today is his feast day I'm not suggesting anything elaborate for his feast, except to eat an orange or raise a glass of orange juice, or a delightful Mimosa (1 part champagne or white sparkling wine to 1 part orange juice) to toast the founder of the Order of Preachers, known as the Dominicans (although there is a wonderful Orange Roll recipe for January 20.)

Why is the orange associated with St. Dominic? From this site we read:

The Orange Tree
The orange tree pictured is at Santa Sabina and is said to be a direct descendant of the one planted in Rome by Our holy Father Dominic in 1220. Apparently this was the first of its type to be planted in Italy. The Villa Sciarra in Rome has an orange grove grown in commemoration of the bringing of the plant to Italy by St. Dominic.
From the original posting of Sacred Destinations Rome: Santa Sabina:
The Legend of the Orange Tree
In the quadrangular enclosure at Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill in Rome, there is an orange tree. According to a legend, St. Dominic planted the seed from which it grows. In the nineteenth century, when the tree sent off a new and healthy shoot, having many oranges, someone noted that it was when Pere Lacordaire was a novice. Some took that as a symbol of the new vigor of the Order which was soon restored in France and of its increase in other provinces. And so the legend grew that when the orange tree produced well, there would be a flowering of the Order.

More information and photos of the actual tree can be found on St. Dominic's Orange Tree.

So you'll understand now that images of St. Dominic he is pictured with an orange tree. So raise your orange juice glass to St. Dominic today!

Image of Orange Tree from and Image of Mimosa from
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  1. Interesting! Thanks for sharing!

  2. You're welcome. I always like to find out obscure symbols and traditions connected with a saint or feast.

  3. I believe we should pay more attention to this symbols and traditions, they talk about who these saint were in real life and maybe this is a way for us to better understand their greatness. Thank you Jennifer. God bless!

    Liturgy of the Hours

  4. What an interesting post. Thanks Jenn! What a great reason to enjoy a Mimosa. Yum!!

  5. Sr Elizabeth HellwigJuly 29, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Jenn, this is an interesting website - I was just looking up information about the orange tree. The photograph you have of the tree is actually at Santa Sabina Strathfield, Sydney Australia! It was taken outside the College library.
    In 1897 the sister of one of the Dominican Sisters brought from Rome a sapling from the original tree, and it was planted here in the garden. It has actually been moved three times because of building works. Now it is safely at the front fence, so it should not be interfered with again. It still bears oranges - rather bitter, but perfect for marmalade. It has daughters in the grounds of our other schools now.
    All good wishes, and happy St Dominic's Day,
    Sr Elizabeth Hellwig OP Archivist of the Dominican Sisters of Eastern Australia and the Solomon Islands