Dominic of Prussia

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Carthusian spiritual writer (known also as Dominicus Prutenus, or Rutenus; Dominic of Trier); b. East Prussia, 1384; d. Trier, 1460. He entered the Carthusians at Trier in 1409, served as vicar and novice master at Sierk, Mainz, and finally at Trier. None of his writings have been edited. He is memorable for the interest he took in the devotion to the Sacred Heart, and even more conspicuously as a propagator of a rosary devotion. Indeed, some attribute the belief that the rosary began with St. Dominic, founder of the Friars Preachers, to a confusion between the two Dominics. (See H. Thurston, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, ed. F. Cabrol, H. Leclerq, and H. I. Marrou, 3.1:399406.) A rosary of 50 Ave Marias was in use at St. Alban's in Trier in the time of Dominic of Prussia. His prior, Adolph of Essen, was devoted to its recitation, as was another monk mentioned by Dominic, who can probably be identified as James of Meisenberg (d. 1427). It has also been suggested that the "D. Dominicus" on ancient pictures of Dominic receiving the rosary contributed to the confusion, the "D." being mistaken for "Divus" (Saint), instead of "Domnus" (Dom), which was intended. We do know for certain that Dominic of Prussia made a point of associating meditation with the recitation of the Ave Marias. A volume of meditations on the life of Christ, which his prior, Adolph, had extracted from Ludolph of Saxony's Vita Christi, appears to have suggested this to him. He also composed 50 formulas to be added to the Ave Marias. The Dominican propagator of the rosary, Alan de la Roche, seems to have been familiar with this method of recitation.

Bibliography: a. stoelen, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique. Doctrine et histoire, ed. m. viller et al. (Paris 1932) 3:153942. y. gourdel, "Le Culte de la très sainte Vierge dans l'Ordre des Chartreux: Le Rosaire de Dominique le Chartreux," Maria: Études sur la Sainte Vierge (Paris 1949) v.2.

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Dominic of Prussia

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