Last year when I shared Chicken with Sauteed Tomatoes for St. Dominic’s day, Mary Liz left a comment explaining the connection of St. Dominic with oranges. As today is his feast day I’m not suggesting anything elaborate for his feast, except to eat an orange or raise a glass of orange juice, or a delightful Mimosa (1 part champagne or white sparkling wine to 1 part orange juice) to toast the founder of the Order of Preachers, known as the Dominicans. (There is a wonderful Orange Roll recipe for January 20.)
Why is the orange associated with St. Dominic? From this site we read:
The Orange Tree
The orange tree pictured is at Santa Sabina and is said to be a direct descendant of the one planted in Rome by Our holy Father Dominic in 1220. Apparently this was the first of its type to be planted in Italy. The Villa Sciarra in Rome has an orange grove grown in commemoration of the bringing of the plant to Italy by St. Dominic.
And more information can be found from Sacred Destinations Rome: Santa Sabina:
The Legend of the Orange Tree
In the quadrangular enclosure at Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill in Rome, there is an orange tree. According to a legend, St. Dominic planted the seed from which it grows. In the nineteenth century, when the tree sent off a new and healthy shoot, having many oranges, someone noted that it was when Pere Lacordaire was a novice. Some took that as a symbol of the new vigor of the Order which was soon restored in France and of its increase in other provinces. And so the legend grew that when the orange tree produced well, there would be a flowering of the Order.
So you’ll understand now that images of St. Dominic he is pictured with an orange tree. So raise your orange juice glass to St. Dominic today!