DOMUNI UNIVERSITAS

Dominican History. Part 5 : Dominican Nuns spread throughout Europe 1220-1350

Dominican History. Part 5 : Dominican Nuns spread throughout Europe 1220-1350

IN163-5

The parameters adopted for this Part correspond on the one hand to the preparations for the foundation of the monastery at Bologna in the last year of St Dominic’s life, and on the other to the halt brought to the expansion of all forms of monastic life by the plague that spread through Europe in the middle of the 14th century.

ECTS Credits: 3
Professor: Sister Barbara Estelle Beaumont OP

The parameters adopted for this Part correspond on the one hand to the preparations for the foundation of the monastery at Bologna in the last year of St Dominic’s life, and on the other to the halt brought to the expansion of all forms of monastic life by the plague that spread through Europe in the middle of the 14th century.

When Dominic died, apart from Prouilhe there were monasteries of nuns up and running at Madrid and Rome, and Bologna on the point of foundation. There were also convents of friars in all of these locations. One might have imagined that the expansion of the Order would proceed in accordance with the pattern already established by Dominic: i.e. that there should be a monastery of nuns in reasonably close proximity to a convent of friars, and by the classic model of filiation, that is to say that an already existing monastery would found a new one as and when needed.

But in reality things happened very differently and in ways that Dominic himself could not have foreseen. In this sense he died much too soon, barely five years after the foundation of the Order. It is a challenge to us to reflect on how different our history might have been, if the initial vision of the founder in this respect had been adhered to throughout the centuries.
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