Hail, O friend of God, to thee:
Chosen priest of Christ and Mary,
Guardian of the Rosary!
In the sacred work of Jesus
Bravely, Father, did you go,
Bringing truth to God's own children,
Spreading wide the Gospel glow.
Guide us on, O saintly Father,
In your growing family!
Showing your most holy banner,
Love, and prayer, and purity.
Stay, O stay with us, dear Father,
As through life we all must pass;
Keep you children ever faithful
To their motto, "Veritas"!
Today, 5th August, Dominicans in Australia and New Zealand celebrate the feast day of our founder, Domingo de Guzman. (His feast is celebrated in most of the western Church on 8th August, but that day is taken by local saint, Mary MacKillop (Mother Mary of the Cross) in the Antipodes.)
Domingo (Dominic) died on 6th August, 1221, but as that day in the calendar was already taken by the feast of the martyr Pope St Xystus and his deacons and companions in martyrdom , Agapitius and Felicissimus, Dominic was assigned to 5th August. (Later, of course, the Feast of the Lord's Transfiguration was added to the calendar on 6th.) Today is thus his original feast day. After the Council of Trent, Dominic was moved to 4th August; in 1969 to 7th - and a year or two later to 8th. He is a much-travelled saint! When Mary MacKillop was beatified, after consultation with the Dominicans, the bishops of Australia and New Zealand chose to return to 5th August for St Dominic, a date that had the advantages of being closes to his actual anniversary, and a day supported by the earliest tradition.
Sadly, I have heard that in these countries, from 2012, our Holy Patriarch will been moved to 7th again, and reduced to an optional memorial - which in practice means that most Aussies and Kiwis will never celebrate him. Of course, Dominicans will celebrate him as a solemnity.
In the Solomon Islands, and here in Papua New Guinea, Saint Dominic remains on 8th August, the place he holds in the current Roman Calendar.