However important later developments in the Order, they cannot be understood without reference to the beginnings of the Order. …Through St. Dominic and his companions, we are invited to contemplate, from a particular point of view, the example of the Lord Himself, who went about tirelessly proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and who still calls His Church to follow Him and to proclaim to all the nations of the world the liberating truth that He Himself proclaimed, and that He Himself is. (Foreword to Early Dominicans: Selected Writings)
Eight hundred years after the foundation of the Order, the Dominican way of life still offers the individual, and the world, a unique path to holiness. The Order can be characterized as contemplative, rooted in a strong prayer life; apostolic, determined in its work for the salvation of souls; liturgical in its life centered in the celebration of the Eucharist and choral recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours; sacrificial, consecrated to God through the vows and always mindful of the life of penance; doctrinal, dedicated to study, teaching, and the defense the Faith; and fraternal, lived in community and bound together with one heart and one soul in God. St. Dominic’s genius was a way of life that blended the contemplative and active, a life that remained faithful to the monastic practices of contemplative orders, but not limited by them.
Several mottos of the Order speak of its unchanging values and characteristic features. History has shown us that this way of life provides a path to holiness, as many men and women of the Order have been raised to the ranks of saints and blesseds.