Friday, March 31, 2006

Saint Dominic

Dominic was born in Spain of a wealthy family. He was a member of the Guzman family and his mother was a very holy woman, Blessed Joan of Aza.

When Dominic was seven, he began to go to school. His uncle who was a priest, guided him all through his school years. After years of study, Dominic became a priest.

He lived a quiet life of prayer and obedience with other good priests. God had amazing plans for Dominic. He began a new religious order called the Order of Preachers or "Dominicans," after Saint Dominic. The Dominicans preached the faith to the people. They helped correct false teachings called heresies.

It all began when Dominic was on a trip through southern France. He realized that some people had formed a group and were going about teaching people things that were not true. This was doing them great harm. Dominic felt such pity for all the people who had joined the group and wanted to help them.

The Dominicans conquered that dangerous heresy with prayer, especially by praying the Holy Rosary. Dominic also encouraged the people to be humble and to make sacrifices.

Once someone asked Dominic what book he used to prepare his wonderful sermons. "The only book I use is the book of love," he said. He always prayed to be filled with true love of neighbor. He begged the Dominicans to be devoted to the study of the Bible and to prayer. Dominic and his preachers spread the beautiful practice of saying the Rosary.

Saint Dominic was a brilliant preacher, while Saint. Francis of Assisi was a humble beggar. They were very close friends. Their two orders, the Dominicans and Franciscans helped Christians become holier. Dominic also founded an order of nuns to care for young girls and the Lay Tertiaries, persons of both sexes living in the world.Dominic's friars opened centers in Paris (France), Madrid (Spain), Rome and Bologna (Italy). He lived to see his order spread to Poland, Scandinavia and Palestine. The friars also went to Canterbury, London, and Oxford (in England).

Dominic died in Bologna (Italy) on August 7, 1221. His great friend, Cardinal Ugolino of Venice became Pope Gregory IX and a few years later he proclaimed Dominic a Saint. Saint Dominic’s feast day is celebrated on August 8th.

O God, let St. Dominic help Your Church by his merits and teaching. May he who was an outstanding preacher of truth become a most generous intercessor for us.

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