“To bring others to understand and love the luminous spirit of the Dominican Order,
the eternal youth of its doctrinal tradition, its exquisite large-mindedness, its sublime idealism:
would not one willingly die to make that known and loved?” ~Fr. Humbert Clerissac, O.P.
The Spirit of St. Dominic is the fruit of retreat conferences preached by Fr. Clerissac to his Dominican brethren in England in 1908. In these pages, Fr. Clerissac presents the spirit of St. Dominic and his Order of Preachers, illuminating how this spirit is a living treasure for the Church today as it was at its genesis. As Thomistic Institute Director Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P. writes in his Introduction, “a great work of theology has a perennial relevance.” Such indeed is the case with this collection of retreats given by Fr. Clerissac: perennially relevant, theologically beautiful.
Praise for The Spirit of St. Dominic
“Clerissac’s The Spirit of St. Dominic, which fortunately is made available again by Cluny Media, merits the attention of those who want to gain a perspective on the saint whose Order now celebrates its 800th anniversary. While this volume obviously will serve the needs of Dominican formation programs and general courses in spirituality, it also should interest a wider audience than the Dominicans and students of practical theology. Saint Dominic’s genius for preaching illustrates how one very gifted and holy man devised a lasting response to the perennial need for evangelization. His zeal is contagious!” ~Romanus Cessario, O.P., Saint John’s Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts
“The Spirit of St. Dominic by Fr. Humbert Clerissac, O.P. is the best modern account of the spiritual, theological, and moral character of the Dominican Order. Not only does Fr. Clerissac make a lucid and persuasive case for the Dominican apostolate—Veritas, Truth, but he also applies this apostolate with extraordinary vigor and effect directly on the reader. Based on retreats Fr. Clerissac gave for English Dominicans, the book still serves as a spiritual and theological retreat for every reader who is ready for it. St. Dominic’s noble and inspiring vision shines through every page. Shunning the fictitious and the fantastic, Fr. Clerissac advances in utterly realistic terms the idea of the Order of Preachers—an idea that inspires and sets a high standard over against all corruptions, corruptions Fr. Clerissac does not hesitate to name and critique. This beautiful book is a “must-read” for all Dominicans, for those who discern a vocation to the Order of Preachers, and for all who wish to encounter the unique apostolic character of the Dominican Order. Republishing The Spirit of St. Dominic is a most fitting way to commemorate and celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Order of Preachers. May this book inspire many young men and women to embrace the Dominican vocation.” ~Dr. Reinhard Hütter, Professor of Christian Theology, Duke University
About the Author
Father Humbert Clerissac, O.P., was born in France in 1864, At the early age of sixteen, he discerned his vocation after reading Lacordaire’s Life of Saint Dominic. During the thirty-four years of his Dominican life he showed a never-wavering ardor for the spirit of St. Dominic’s life and mission. He had tremendous influence as a preacher and a spiritual director, and he worked tirelessly for conversions, giving retreats to religious men and women of his own and other Orders. Fr. Clerissac died in 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I.