There’s a story that St. Dominic and St. Francis actually met one time. Even if this is more pious fiction than fact, it’s true that the two founders had at least one major thing in common: their desire to found a new kind of religious order, a order that was grounded in evangelical poverty. These new kinds of friars were called “mendicants”, which is a fancy word for “beggars”, because that is what these early friars did to obtain the necessities of life. There are some significant differences between the two orders, of course–St. Dominic believed that education and study were necessary for preaching, while St. Francis believed in preaching “from the heart”. Still, because of their similar charisms, the Franciscans and Dominicans have always considered themselves “cousins”. In the Dominican Order, October 4 is a feast day (not just a memorial) and in our monastery, we sing an antiphon in honor of the two founders, both on St. Dominic’s Day (August 8) and St. Francis’s Day (October 4).
Our apostolic Father Dominic, and seraphic Father Francis, have taught us your law, O Lord.
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!