A blessed feast day of St. Dominic everyone! And a shout out to all the priests and religious connected to the Dominican order!.
So who was St. Dominic?
St. Dominic de Guzmán was born in the northern part of Spain in 1170; his family was of noble birth, and came into a time that dealt with many problems within the Catholic Church. Prior to his birth, his mother had a dream; she saw a dog with a torch in its mouth. This dream would represent what one of her sons would become. Named after the Benedictine, Domingo de los Silos, Dominic was loved by all. He took his faith very seriously, always carrying a copy of the Gospel of Matthew and the Letters of St. Paul everywhere. He loved to preach the Gospel, but also loved the poor; at one time, he owned a bookstore and sold what he could to give to the poor. Yet, he felt a stronger calling to be a priest, and spread God’s word throughout all the earth.
He traveled far and wide with his friend Don Bazan, the Bishop of Osma, spreading God’s word. Many legends surround St. Dominic; on one occasion, St. Dominic and Don Bazan were staying with an innkeeper. The innkeeper had fallen privy to the current heresy of the time, that of the Albegensian. St. Dominic and Don Bazan both spent the night going through each argument with the innkeeper, and by sunrise he had converted.
Another legend was an apparition of The Virgin Mary; it was believed that, along with St. Catherine of Sienna, he personally received a rosary from the Blessed Mother. This caused St. Dominic to pray the Rosary fervently, as well as spread the devotion (such a devotion was affirmed by events such as the Battle of Lepanto, as well as Our Lady of Fatima). While St. Dominic was a man beyond reproach, many have accused him of being highly involved with the Spanish Inquisition, if not being at the top. However, this has not been something that has been confirmed; if St. Dominic had been connected, he was a man of mercy and compassion when passing judgments.
Another legend stems from when Dominic had already gained several followers; one young student had a vision from the Blessed Mother, who gave him the future design of the Dominican Habit. However, when the student relayed the story to Dominic, he requested that it not be told of until after the student’s death, a year later.
The story of how the order itself was founded concerns not only the Dominicans, but also the Franciscans. In December of 1216, 800 years ago, both St. Dominic and St. Francis of Assisi were in Rome at the same time, negotiating their orders with the present Holy Father, Pope Gregory IX. Dominic went to visit one of the Churches to pray, and saw a man existing when Dominic was entering. He immediately recognized the Little Poverello having previously seeing him in a dream. A friendship immediately formed, and a tradition soon began; on the feast of St. Francis, a Franciscan parish would host a Dominican friar. He would then give a homily on Brother Francis (the same goes for St. Dominic, except it’s a Franciscan). Like Christ, St. Dominic did not leave any written material, except the quote that is at the front of this book. In fact, it was his last will in testament. The Order was founded in Toulouse France in 1216, and Dominic died at the age of 49.
St. Dominic didn't leave many quotes, but the ones he did leave make a pretty awesome statement:
"Go in confidence, for the Lord will give you the gift of Preaching. You will lack for nothing. We must sow the seed, not hoard it. Arm yourself with prayer rather than a sword; wear humility rather than fine clothes."
St. Dominic, pray for us!