St Dominic, Priest – 08 August
Born of wealthy Spanish nobility. Son of Blessed Joan of Aza. Joan had difficulty conceiving, and prayed at the shrine of Saint Dominic of Silos who had a tradition of patronage of that problem; when she became pregnant she named the child Dominic in honour of the Saint. While pregnant, Blessed Joan mother had a vision that her unborn child was a dog who would set the world on fire with a torch it carried in its mouth; a dog with a torch in its mouth became a symbol for the Order which he founded, the Dominicans. At Dominic’s baptism, Blessed Joan saw a star shining from his chest, which became another of his symbols in art, and led to his patronage of astronomy.
Studied philosophy and theology at the University of Palencia. Priest. Canon of the cathedral of Osma, Spain. Augustinian. Worked for clerical reform. Had a lifelong apostolate among heretics, especially Albigensians, and especially in France. Worked with Blessed Peter of Castelnau. Founded the Order of Friars Preachers(Dominicans) in 1215, a group who live a simple, austere life, and an order of nuns dedicated to the care of young girls. Friend of Saint Amata of Assisi.
At one point Dominic became discouraged at the progress of his mission; no matter how much he worked, the heresies remained. But he received a vision from Our Lady who showed him a wreath of roses, representing the rosary. She told him to say the rosary daily, teach it to all who would listen, and eventually the true faith would win out. Dominic is often credited with the invention of the rosary; it actually pre-dates him, but he certainly spread devotion to it, and used it to strengthen his own spiritual life.
Reported miracle worker who brought four people back from the dead. Legend says that Dominic received a vision of a beggar who, like Dominic, would do great things for the Faith. Dominic met the beggar the next day. He embraced him and said, “You are my companion and must walk with me. If we hold together, no earthly power can withstand us.” The beggar was Saint Francis of Assisi.
St Dominic was born in 1170 at Calaruega, Burgos, Old Castile and died at noon on 6 August, 1221 at Bologna, Italy.
“A man who governs his passions is master of his world. We must either command them or be enslaved by them. It is better to be a hammer than an anvil.”– Saint Dominic