The Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Wanganui is under the special protection of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary and of Saint Catherine of Siena.
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
Our Order claims for itself, not only the maternal patronage of the Blessed Virgin, but also the privilege of being the child of her prayers. The first manifestations of the specific character of our Order are closely connected with the first tokens of Mary’s motherly protection.
It was from the time of St Dominic’s first struggles with the heretics that tradition dates the inspiration of the Rosary, originally a method of preaching rather than a method of prayer.
From the very first, the Most Holy Mother of God appears as the upholder of Dominic’s office of Champion of the Faith. All through the ages, the Order has never failed to attribute to her its successes and its happy deliverance from its foes; just as the Church herself always flies tot eh unfailing intercession of Our Lady, confident that she will help in every difficulty and win success for any apostolic enterprise.
Mary is the perfect image of God, the mistress of Wisdom, Sedes Sapientiae. If wisdom is a sweet savour and a joy, sapida sapientia, the Order must depend in a great measure on this heavenly Mistress of Truth for its joyful spirit of sacrifice and its sure instinct for truth. To be wise is a great thing; but to combine the calm spirit of wisdom with a militant and exultant spirit is a marvel of grace which it would be vain to hope to preserve in the Order but for the ever-inspiring protection of Our Lady.
Saint Catherine of Siena
… through genuine self-knowledge we discover that we are not, and we find our being in God, seeing that He has created us to His image and likeness… and we find moreover our recreation inasmuch as God has re-created us in the Blood of His Son, the Blood that shows us the truth of God the Father, whose truth is this, that He created us for the glory of His Name and in order that we might have a share in in His eternal beauty, being sanctified in Him.
The ease with which Catherine could pass from self-knowledge to the contemplation of God exemplifies the supernatural atmosphere which she dwelt in. The crucified Christ was ever before her eyes; Love was the motive power that inspired all her actions.
St Catherine is the patroness of the Third Order of Penance of St Dominic. As a third-Order Dominican congregation with second-order roots, we are proud to claim her special patronage over us, and implore her intercession in all our works. May her zeal for apostolic works, fructified by an intense and profound contemplation in God, be ever before us as a model of Dominican sanctity.
Saint Catherine of Siena, pray for us!