It's not every day that an 800-year anniversary is celebrated. Therefore, Pope Francis wanted to specially recognize the first eight centuries of the Order of St. Dominic.
It was at the end of 1216, Pope Honorius III confirmed the foundation of this religious order.
Pope Francis celebrated a solemn mass with them in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the same church the popes celebrated in when the Order began. In his homily, the pope recalled how each person should choose between a superficial life, and one defined by good works.
'We are moving in a so-called 'liquid society,' without fixed points, unhinged, without solid and stable references. It is a fleeting culture, one of using and throwing aside. How do you go from a pseudo festive superficiality to glorification, which is the authentic feast? It is passed on due to the good works of those who, becoming disciples of Christ, have become the 'salt' and the 'light.''
The pope said this is what Catholics have to be: people who give flavor to reality and illuminate in times of difficulty. He said that's what the Dominicans are and have been for centuries.
'The Dominicans are an order which, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, have helped many men and women not be dispersed in the 'carnival' of worldly curiosity. Instead, they have tasted the flavor of good doctrine, the flavor of the Gospel, and they have become, in turn, light and salt, craftsmen of good works.'
There are currently about 6,000 Dominicans spread out to every continent. Their specialty is preaching, which is why they can claim great theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert the Great and St. Catherine of Siena. Not only that, but few know that the Dominicans are the inventors and distributors of the rosary.